Lionfish is a tropical fish noted for its long, venomous spines. This native Pacific fish, now present in the Caribbean and the Atlantic, has long been eaten as a delicacy in the Indio-Pacific.
Lionfish is fast becoming a hot food item. This “new Bahamian culinary craze” is now on some menus in Nassau. And a fishermen’s cooperative in Jamaica, along with NEPA, community leaders, local businesses, government and the Peace Corps, is teaching the utilization of lionfish as a way to control its impact on native fishes.
The flavor of lionfish is often compared to grouper, hogfish (tropical, not our “local”), or snapper. The species from our local waters were small and flaked like small snapper. The meat is delicate, moist, mild-flavored and delicious.
We tried them fried, broiled and baked. They can also be steamed, grilled and used in soups.
Prepare Garlic-Basil Butter and set aside.
Place fillets on lightly greased broiler pan. Brush with melted margarine. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Broil about 4 inches from heat until fish flakes easily with a fork, about 4 to 5 minutes. Serve with Garlic-Basil Butter. Serves 6.
In small bowl, combine margarine, garlic, basil, lemon juice and salt. Allow to stand for 1 hour for flavors to develop. Spread over warm fillets.
Contributed by Joyce Taylor