If you live in Jamaica, you would have heard by now that we now have lionfish in our coastal waters and with no natural predators we are having to be creative in making sure that the lionfish does not put a large dent in our already struggling fisheries sector not put our food security and biodiversity in danger. There has been a campaign to combat the lionfish by eating it and there have been many events and activities surrounding this in the past year or so.
In the last few weeks there was an episode of Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel which featured Jamaica and one of the bizarre foods was the lionfish. If you missed it or do not have the Travel Channel (like me) you can watch snippets of the episode online here.
I had wanted to try the lionfish to do my part in protecting Jamaica’s biodiversity but the opportunity had not presented itself until this weekend. My father got a few from Whitehouse and I asked him to cook it while I was home so I could have a taste.
The fish arrived all cleaned up but the picture above shows what they look like alive. So preparation went like this, the fish was washed and its belly seasoned with salt and pepper and stuffed with escallion, scotch bonnet pepper and thyme. It was placed on a piece of aluminum foil, margarine placed in the belly, on top of the fish and below it on the foil and the fish wrapped so that no water would get into it. It having rained the evening before, the wood was wet so the lionfish would not be cooked on a wood fire outside. So plan B was, after the initial preparation, placed in a large frying pan about half full of boiling water and covered. I do not know about cook times but it needs to be turned during cooking at least once to make sure both sides are cooked (this is why you need to make the foil water proof). Cooking time in not very long maybe 20 mins. Then voila!
Of course this post would not be complete without a picture of the lionfish after. It is very fleshy and does not have a lot of tiny bones and I think it is very tasty and this is coming from someone who does not like fish. I want some more lionfish! So, I urge you to do your part in conserving Jamaica’s biodiversity, protecting our fisheries and food security and eat some lionfish.