Lionfish Ceviche

Hari Pulapaka

Cress, DeLand, FL

Lionfish is a highly invasive species that threatens native fish populations and coral reefs. Since it has few to no natural predators, its populations are growing unchecked. This simple recipe marinates thin slices of lionfish with ginger, fresh citrus juices, coconut milk, and as many spicy chiles as you can handle.



  • 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 or other citrus honey, as needed
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
  • 2 pounds lionfish fillets 

To serve:

  • Crispy tortillas, freshly fried potatoes, or yucca chips


Steep the ginger and garlic in the combined citrus juices in a nonreactive bowl (stainless steel or plastic) for 10 minutes. 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.

Using a sharp knife and long strokes, slice the fish into ¼-inch-thick slices. Submerge the sliced fish in the ceviche marinade and refrigerate for 10 minutes until the fish is semi-opaque. Serve immediately with crispy tortillas, freshly fried potatoes, or yucca chips.


6 servings