Cooking the invasive lionfish: Lionfish ceviche

Lionfish are an invasive species in the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, Atlantic coast of the US and in the Mediterannean – basically, anywhere that lionfish can be found outside of the Indo-Pacific. Their invasion poses huge problems for reef fish populations, since lionfish can eat basically any fish that is smaller than it. To combat this issue, local governments in the US are promoting the fishing (via spearfishing) of lionfish as well as the fish’s consumption.

The good news is that lionfish is a delicious, versatile and cheap fish! So it makes a great option to turn to when cooking. The main thing to watch out for when cooking lionfish is to make sure you cut off the spines right so that you don’t get poked and suffer the consequences of the lionfish’s painful venom! To prevent any unpleasant surprises, make sure you have a unit of StingMaster handy so that if you do get poked, you can slap on some StingMaster and keep cooking like nothing ever happened. 

To promote the cooking and eating of lionfish, we will be posting one recipe a week on our blog page to give ideas to our community as to what you can do with lionfish once you catch them! If you have a favourite recipe, be sure to send it to stephanie@pterotech.ca so we can feature you and your recipe!

Lionfish ceviche is arguably one of the most common recipes that people make with lionfish: it’s fast, easy and doesn’t even require you to really COOK. Here’s a run-down of our favourite recipe, courtesy of Robyn from GrillGirl.com (https://grillgirl.com/2017/05/lionfish-ceviche-eat-em-beat-em/

Lionfish Ceviche

2 lbs lionfish filets

• 1 cup lime juice- approximately 7 large limes

• 1/4 tsp lime zest

• 1 tbsp white vinegar

• 1 red onion, thinly sliced

• 1-2 jalapeno or serrano pepper, diced (depending on how spicy you like!)

• 2 medium sized tomatoes, diced

• 1 large bunch cilantro, chopped

• 2 avocados, diced

• fresh ground pepper, to taste

• sea salt, to taste

  1. Chop the Lionfish into small chunks, making sure that they are evenly sized so they cook evenly.
  2. Chop all veggies and set aside. Juice your limes, combine with vinegar.
  3. Add the fish and all veggies except the avocado to the lime juice mixture.
  4. Let marinate for at least 20 minutes or until the fish is opaque.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss with avocado.
  6. Serve with corn, plantain or yucca chips for a nice appetizer or light meal!

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