Poking through the pages of “The Lionfish Cookbook,” we can pretty much see that the new plan for dealing with the invasive lionfish in the Atlantic is “If you can’t beat ’em, eat ’em!” Key Largo-based conservation organization REEF, who helped organize the lionfish tournament held in September, has developed a cookbook with tasty recipes to prepare the fish.The recently released cookbook is a collection of 45 recipes which is the group’s latest strategy to counter an invasion of the non-native reddish brown-striped fish in Florida waters.
“It’s absolutely good eating — a delicacy. It’s delicately flavored white meat, very buttery,” Lad Akins, director of special projects for Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF), told Reuters. He authored the cookbook along with a professional chef, Tricia Ferguson.
As we noted before, the fish have very few natural predators helping to fuel their ever expanding numbers in the Caribbean and Atlantic. Some scientists are now listing the invasive lionfish species among the top 15 threats to global biodiversity.
The authors dub the lionfish”The Caribbean’s New Delicacy” and includes tips on collecting, handling and preparing the colorful species, as well as providing expert background on its ecological impact. Concerned about the venom in the lionfish? No worries there as all the venom is contained in the spines and not in the meat of the fish so just simply cutting off the spines of the fish while preparing is enough.
Akins said he hoped the cookbook could help create a commercial market for lionfish that would speed their eradication. But he wasn’t sure whether the brightly colored invader would appear on the menus of Miami Beach eateries.
“It certainly is on the menu in many other countries — the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Dominican Republic, Mexico,” he said, adding that orders for the recipe book, which can be purchased online at www.reef.org, were coming in fast.
The book can be purchased for $16.95 via the REEF website.