In the Atlantic Ocean, lionfish are an invasive species that eat many fish in local waters. Bermuda-based fishermen and chefs have found a way to help curb that: “We’ve got this problem fish, let’s eat ‘em,” says Chris Flook, a fisherman, lionfish expert, and environmentalist.
Flook says that some fish populations in the Atlantic could completely disappear as the huge population of lionfish feed on them.
The danger lionfish pose to local fish populations can only be curbed by human activity: hunting and eating. Once the lionfish are caught, they’re delivered to local restaurants where chefs turn them into different dishes, including ceviche.
“It’s a very firm fish; it’s compared to a red hake,” says Alfred Konrad, chef and owner of Wahoo’s Bistro and Patio. “And since the lionfish only eats live fish, it has a very nice and clean taste.”
Once the fish is cut up to make ceviche, he adds lime and sea salt to the top of the fish, which Konrad says really cooks it. He also adds strawberries from Florida and pink peppercorns. Finally, it gets topped with cilantro.
“I think fruit adds a little bit to the flavor of the fish,” says Konrad. “It doesn’t need much flavor, but it just makes it a little bit more exciting.”
Watch the full video to see how Flook hunts for lionfish and how they are prepared in dishes like jerk lionfish tacos, lionfish tempura, and more.