If you’ve ever been curious about how to fillet, clean, gut, scale, and prepare lionfish, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know, including some handy tips and techniques. So, let’s dive in!
Locating the Venomous Spines
Before we get into the technicalities of handling lionfish, it’s crucial to understand where their venomous spines are located. Lionfish have around 18 spines that can be sharper than a hypodermic needle. Thirteen of these spines are along the spine in the dorsal fins, while the leading edge of each pelvic fin and the anal fin each has a short spine. Be cautious and handle them with care!
To handle lionfish safely, you’ll need a few tools. Here are some suggestions:
- Puncture-proof gloves, such as Hex Armor gloves, which provide added protection.
- Long barbecue/meat tongs to handle lionfish easily.
- A very sharp fillet knife with a thin, flexible blade to minimize the chances of getting stuck.
- Kitchen scissors or trauma shears, like those used by paramedics, for cutting through anything.
- A large cutting board, preferably wooden, to maintain stability while preparing the lionfish.
- An outside workspace because cleaning and gutting lionfish can get messy!
- Lots of water to keep everything clean and make the process more manageable.
Lionfish Preparation Techniques
Now, let’s explore some different lionfish preparation techniques demonstrated in various videos:
1. Guy Harvey Team’s Approach
Although there are a few inaccuracies in this video, it offers a great introduction to handling lionfish. The team shows how to remove the venomous spines using kitchen shears and proceeds to fillet the fish. They even share some tips on different ways to prepare lionfish.
2. Lad Akins’ Method
Lad Akins, a veteran in handling and preparing lionfish, demonstrates his favorite technique. He starts by peeling off the skin and then filleting the rest of the fish. Akins emphasizes the importance of laying the fish flat on the cutting surface to reduce the risk of injury from the spines. In the video, you can also witness him frying some lionfish nuggets and using denatured spines as cocktail toothpicks.
3. Quick and Efficient Filleting
This video showcases a quick and efficient way to fillet lionfish. The process involves cutting off all the venomous spines first to minimize handling and close contact. This technique is especially suitable when cleaning multiple lionfish. Give it a try!
4. Gerardo Ochoa’s Method
In this video, Gerardo Ochoa presents a simple and straightforward approach. He begins by removing the spines and checking the contents of the lionfish’s stomach before proceeding to gut it. Ochoa concludes by preparing a mouthwatering whole garlic lionfish in the microwave. Don’t miss his wine suggestion!
You can find the videos by searching for them online or dropping their URLs in the comments section below.
Time to Explore
Now that you’re familiar with different techniques for filleting, cleaning, and preparing lionfish, it’s time to try them out yourself! Experiment with these methods or develop your own unique approach. Remember, handling lionfish can be thrilling and rewarding, so don’t hesitate to get creative in the kitchen. Bon appétit!
Interested in learning more about lionfish handling and hunting? Check out Ennds.org, a non-profit group that offers specialized lionfish training dives.