Native to the Indo-Pacific, lionfish are an unwanted resident of Bermuda’s waters. The venomous fish has few natural predators and wreaks havoc on our coral reefs, killing and eating young fish like snappers and groupers. Lionfish become sexually mature after just one year and females lay eggs every few days. In fact, a single female can lay up to 2 million eggs per year.
In order to tackle the lionfish in Bermuda, it’s imperative that we cull as many as we possibly can, and the bright side of that is that lionfish are delicious! Here are our 3 favourite ways to enjoy fresh caught lion fish.
If you’re looking to help eradicate the lionfish population in Bermuda, contact Groundswell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beer Battered Lionfish Tacos with Mango Slaw
For the Batter:
1 cup cornstarch
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 pinch of baking soda
1 pinch of baking powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 bottle of light beer
For the Slaw:
1 cup mayonnaise
1 chipotle pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon Adobo Sauce (recipe for Adobo Sauce below)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch of pepper
2 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 cup finely sliced red pepper
1/2 cup fresh mango, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
For the Fish
1/2 pound wahoo, cut into three inch pieces
2 teaspoons of paprika
For the Batter:
Mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix in beer. Add a handful of ice and stir. Let sit until ice is melted.
For the Chipotle Slaw:
Combine cabbage, red pepper, green onions, cilantro and mango in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together mayonnaise, Adobo Sauce, lime juice, paprika, salt and pepper. Add sauce to slaw mixture and make sure slaw is evenly coated.
For the Fish:
Sprinkle fish with paprika and then dip into batter.
Place fish separately in hot oil and deep fry, moving back and forth, for 2-3 minutes.
Place cooked fish on paper towels to blot extra oil.
Brown white corn tortillas in a hot iron skillet.
Place slaw on corn tortillas, then one or two pieces of fish.
Fish Tacos can be garnished with avocados, tomatoes, chopped green onions and diced cilantro.
1/2 cup chile powder (See Note 1)
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped (8 oz with juices)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 garlic cloves
2 tbsp brown sugar (See Note 2)
1 tsp oregano (See Note 3)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp allspice
3 tbsp olive oil
In a food processor or blender add the chile powder and carefully pour in 1 1/2 cups boiling water. Cover with lid to steep while you get the other ingredients together.
Add the vinegar, chopped tomatoes, garlic, brown sugar, oregano, salt, cumin, cinnamon, pepper and allspice to the food processor or blender and process to a smooth purée, about the consistency of BBQ sauce or catchup. If needed, thin with water.
Heat oil in a skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Carefully pour in the chili vegetable purée and bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 20 minutes uncovered.
Makes about 2 1/2 to 3 cups adobo sauce. Use in any Mexican dish you prefer or add chipotle chiles (See below) and keep in an airtight container and refrigerate.
1/2 tablespoon grated ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves and stems finely chopped
2 jalapeño or serrano peppers, finely chopped (include the seeds if you like it spicier)
1/4 cup first cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
Orange blossom or other citrus honey, as needed
Freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds lionfish fillets
Crispy tortillas, freshly fried potatoes, or yucca chips
Steep the ginger and garlic in the combined citrus juices in a nonreactive bowl (stainless steel or plastic) for 10 minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients, except for the fish, to the bowl. Find a balance in the flavors so that the acidity is not overpowering by adding more honey, if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix well so that the onions are completely submerged in the juices. Set aside for 20 minutes.
Using a sharp knife and long strokes, slice the fish into ¼-inch-thick slices. Submerge the sliced fish in the ceviche marinade and refrigerate for 10 minutes until the fish is semi-opaque. Serve immediately with crispy tortillas, freshly fried potatoes, or yucca chips.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, grated
1/2 cup diced fennel
1/2 cup diced celery
1 pound lionfish fillets, bones removed and diced (skin on or off)
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 large egg 1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 green onions, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 quart peanut oil
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add garlic, fennel, and celery. Sauté 5 minutes. Add fish and red pepper, turn off heat, and leave pan on burner 3 minutes. (Fish will cook with residual heat.) Let cool.
Whisk together half-and-half and egg in a medium bowl; add flour and whisk until smooth. Gently fold in lionfish mixture, cilantro, green onions, and salt.
Heat oil to 350° in a 2-quart pot over medium-high heat. Drop batter, about 2 tablespoons at a time, into hot oil, using a large metal spoon to keep fritters separate. (Allow fritters to take on a natural shape.) Working in batches to keep oil at a constant heat, cook fritters, gently turning with a spoon to ensure even cooking, 3 minutes or until dark golden brown. Remove fritters to a paper towel-lined plate; serve with tartar sauce.