What if there was a way to both help protect the beautiful Belize Barrier Reef Reserve, the native resident sea creatures and eat a delicious meal? If you’ve ever wanted to help save an ecosystem by eating, this is your chance! Lionfish have invaded Caribbean waters and a great way to protect the ecosystem is to hunt them to reduce their numbers, and then yes, eat them!
A Little Background On Lionfish
Lionfish are small fish with large poisonous spiny backs that have invaded the Caribbean ocean from their native habitat in the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. While they’re not particularly large or intimidating, they have no natural predator in the Caribbean ocean to help control their quickly expanding population. This means that these fish are quickly growing in numbers and are quickly devouring the food source for the native fish. If you are to see a lionfish, you should remove it. But, you don’t have to waste it!
Here are a few different delicious ways to cook and eat the enemy of the Caribbean ocean.
- 3 lbs (1.35 kg) of fresh lionfish filet chopped into small cubes (deboned, skin optional)
- 3 large avocados, skinned and diced into small cubes
- ½ cup of cilantro, finely chopped
- ½ cup of lime juice
- ½ cup of lemon juice
- ½ tsp of lime zest
- ½ tsp of lemon zest
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsps of white vinegar
- Fry lionfish cubes in a large skillet over medium heat until golden brown and cooked throughout
- Mix together lemon and lime juice, lemon and lime zest, and white vinegar
- In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, cilantro, red onion, avocados, and lionfish
- Toss ingredients together with the dressing mixture and serve with crackers, chips, or pitas
Baked Lionfish With Lemon And Garlic
- 2 lb (1 kg) lionfish fillet (deboned, skin optional)
- ½ cup of finely chopped parsley
- 1 cup of white flour
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 tbsps of lemon juice
- 6 tbsps of olive oil
- ¼ cup of butter
- Preheat oven to 400F (205c)
- Mix together lemon juice, butter, garlic, and olive oil in a small bowl
- Pour flour into another small bowl
- Pat fish dry, dip it in the lemon sauce and then in the flour and set aside
- Heat up oil on the stovetop on a castiron skillet on medium heat
- Sear fish fillets on both sides in a skillet but don’t cook them all the way
- Pour the remaining lemon sauce into the skillet
- Bake the skillet in the oven until the fish flakes easily with a fork (about 10 minutes)
- Take from the oven and serve
Make Your Vacation Even More Exciting By Cooking Lionfish On The Beach
Do these recipes sound delicious to you? Would you be interested in making a version of this, or even just having a good old-fashioned fish cookout on the beach? Make cooking lionfish part of your Belize adventure by talking to your dive masters before you set sail for your next dive. Lionfish are delicious and nutritious, and hunting them is a great way to help the Belizean environment. Make your vacation even more exciting by making one of these recipes or your very own on the beach after hunting the infamous lionfish in Belize.
Interested in going on your very own lionfish hunt to make these delicious recipes?
Book your vacation at Belize Dive Haven!
Just 30 miles from Belize City, Belize Dive Haven is located in pristine Turneffe Atoll. Consisting of creeks, lagoons, mangrove islands and cays, the atoll is home to over 500 species of fish, 65 different species of stony corals as well as birds, turtles, manatees and dolphins.