Lionfish Ceviche Recipe: An Eco-friendly, Creative & Refreshing Fish Ceviche Recipe by Chef Hari Pulapaka

Seafood Appetizers
3 months ago
Lionfish Ceviche Recipe: An Eco-friendly, Creative & Refreshing Fish Ceviche Recipe

The invasive, venomous, nonnative lionfish is destroying coral reefs in the western Atlantic. As the lionfish has no natural predators, it is up to us human beings to do something about the environmental challenges. 

In 2019, I teamed up with AJ+ producers Yara Elmjouie and Tabish Talib to help create this Shorty Award-winning, James Beard-nominated episode in which Yara goes spearfishing with divers off the coast of Florida and tastes this invasive species for himself. The video has racked up about a million total views. 

Lionfish must be mostly speared, individually, by divers, so the eradication of this nonnative species is literally happening one fish at a time. Lionfish is a sweet-fleshed mild fish that may be prepared a number of ways, like this lionfish ceviche recipe. 

Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves and stems finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeño or serrano peppers, finely chopped (include the seeds if you like it spicier)
  • 1/4 cup first cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
  • orange blossom honey or other citrus honey, as needed
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds lionfish fillets 

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Steep the ginger and garlic in the combined citrus juices in a nonreactive bowl (stainless steel or plastic) for 10 minutes.
  2. Add all the remaining ingredients, except for the fish, to the bowl. Find a balance in the flavors so that the acidity is not overpowering by adding more honey, if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix well so that the onions are completely submerged in the juices. Set aside for 20 minutes.
  3. Using a sharp knife and long strokes, slice the fish into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Submerge the sliced fish in the ceviche marinade, and refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes until the fish is semi-opaque. Serve immediately with crispy tortillas, freshly fried potatoes or yucca chips.

Photo: Lionfish

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Donna John
What an interesting recipe! Sounds delicious! If you can't find lionfish in your area, what fish would you suggest substituting? Chef Hari Pulapaka
hpulapak
Lionfish is a delicious and sustainable option. If one cannot procure it, any mild fish like snapper or rockfish works really well.
Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds
Wow, this sounds amazing. And I didn't realize this about lionfish. Definitely making this recipe. Thank you for sharing, Chef Hari Pulapaka ! hpulapak
Tribe
I love ceviche...

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