Lionfish is a genus of venomous marine fish normally found in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean. They are known for their unusual fan shaped pectoral fins and spiky striped dorsal fins that mimic the lion’s mane. Their unusual spines are what make them a unique treat for divers and snorkelers in the ocean, but these spines also serve as an important defense mechanism against predators: they emit extremely painful, but nonfatal, venom. Lionfish rely on their camouflage to catch prey, which usually include smaller fish and shrimp. In the Pacific, they have very few natural predators, but they are not a major stressor on underwater ecosystems because their population is under control.
A number of restaurants now feature lionfish on the menu. When properly prepared, they can be a delicious treat.
Buttered lionfish grill style
Place butter, Lionfish filet, sliced onion, squash, zuccini and carrots with a squeeze of lime in a piece of aluminum foil and place over a fire for around six to eight minutes. Serve with a roll (so you can dip it in the sauce).
Place sticky rice on seaweed wrap. Place raw lionfish filet, thin long sliced carrots, cucumber, raw turnip and fresh basil leaf. Roll tight, and serve with soy sauce and wasabi.
First make your own bread by combining equal parts white and whole wheat (two cups), pinch of salt, two tablespoons of olive oil and about 1/2 cup of water. Mix together to a firm dough consistency. Flatten dough with rolling pin or bottle and place in a hot non-greased pan a couple of minutes on each side. Spice Lionfish filets with lemon pepper and grill till golden brown on each side. Wrap fish, lettuce, tomato, black olives, thin carrot and onion slices in the wrap. Make a dressing out of equal parts olive oil and apple cider vinegar with salt pepper and fresh thyme. Shake vigorously in a bottle and pour in the wrap.
Recipes courtesy of lionfishhunter.com