Lionfish Tacos
Lionfish Tacos

There has been so much talk about eating Lionfish lately, though I have been eating it for some time. It is a sweet, light, white, flaky fish that has a firm texture and has a taste somewhere between grouper and mahi mahi. The fish itself has venomous spines, but the meat is not poisonous. Many chefs tend to use lionfish in ceviche, but I really enjoy it lightly fried, and its incredible flavor is ideal for fish tacos. Unless you are a pro diver or fisherman who is trained to spear lionfish, your best best is to buy it from your nearest seafood dealer. I was ecstatic to find local lionfish in our Whole Foods sustainable seafood section when they opened in Destin recently. I suggest you order lionfish when you see it fresh on any menu, and purchase it from Whole Foods in Destin or other Whole Foods Florida locations where they are offering it. By doing so you are helping to replenish our fish stocks and allowing our reefs to recover from the havoc that this non native species has caused to our underwater environment, not to mention you will be supporting the sustainable seafood movement and our local economy.

Eat This Invasive Species!
Eat This Invasive Species!

Lionfish Tacos


2 pounds lionfish (skinned, boned and cleaned) cut into 1-ounce strips
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons cold water
2 cups fine panko bread crumbs
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying
1/2 head purple cabbage, finely shredded
1 bunch cilantro, leaves picked
1 bunch chives, chopped
3 limes, cut into wedges for garnish
Cotija cheese crumbled (optional)

Whole Foods Destin
Whole Foods Destin


Whole Foods will clean the lionfish, fillet it, remove the bones and even cut it into 1-ounce strips for you. They made cooking this lionfish recipe a breeze. However, if you would like to purchase the whole fish and clean it yourself, I would suggest you visit this site.


Cut the pieces of fish into 1-ounce strips. Set up a cooking station of flour, lightly beaten eggs with water added, and then the seasoned bread crumbs. Season each station with salt and pepper. Dredge the pieces of fish in flour, egg, and then bread crumbs and set aside on a clean dish. Once all the fish is breaded, deep-fry in small batches in (375 degrees F) vegetable oil, and set fish on paper towels on top of a brown paper bag. (Tip: I keep my Whole Foods brown paper bags for this purpose. Great to absorb oil when frying bacon too.) Keep warm until ready to serve.

Serve the tacos family style where everyone can add as much or as little to their taco as they wish. Assemble the fish in a pile on a plate; the chile sauce in a bowl; the Cotija cheese in a bowl; and the salsa in another. Set a pile of shredded purple cabbage, cilantro leaves, chopped chives and lime wedges next to the fish. Toast the corn tortillas lightly over an open flame, or warm in a skillet and serve.

Lionfish Tacos. Recipe.
Chili Sauce


1 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup mayonnaise
2 chipotles in adobo, plus 2 tablespoons of adobo sauce
1/2 lemon, juiced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To prepare the chile sauce,  put the chipotles in a blender and puree until smooth. Add the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, adobo sauce and lemon juice and continue to process until the mixture is  creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate until ready to use.

Mexican Caviar

Recipe for Mexican Caviar, AKA the best crowd pleasing salsa here.

Giveaway! (ENDED)

Whole Foods is offering one lucky reader of a $50 gift card. You must have a USA home mailing address to enter. Please use the Rafflecopter to enter below, and follow Whole Foods Market on all of their social media sites as well as Whole Foods Destin on Instagram and Facebook to see what’s happening with our local market. 30AEats is on Instagram too with fresh food news.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Whole Foods Destin  is located at 4402 Legendary Drive in Destin, FL 32541. Hours of operation are from 7:00am to 10:00pm. Seven days a week. Phone: 850-269-7400, Fax: 850-269-7401.

38 thoughts on “Lionfish Tacos”

  1. We have a winner! They were contacted, responded right away with excitement, and are looking forward to trying lionfish. Thanks to all of you who commented and entered. 🙂

  2. My coach is always taking the team to whole foods on away trips so we are huge fans. Can’t way to try the Lionfish tacos!

  3. This looks amazing! My husband and I enjoy cooking local seafood together throughout the week and especially on the weekends! We will have to try lion fish ASAP using this recipe! We have yet to make it to the new Whole Foods, but plan to go soon. Love your blog and IG account!

  4. I never knew you could eat Lionfish! Now I’m going to have to be on the lookout for some and try your recipe.

  5. Would love to try lionfish!! I also love the new Whole Foods in Destin!!!

  6. I am on the West Coast so we (to my knowledge) have not seen lionfish yet. LOVE the picture- although if I was in the water I’m not sure I would stick around – it looks ominous….until I realized the size is 2.0 to 17.7 in and maximum of three pounds. Thank you for the recipe.

  7. this would be great to win! I love whole foods! I haven’t tried lionfish though

  8. I have never tried it, but I’m always willing to try new things.

  9. Whole foods is the best! I have not made lionfish yet.

  10. my friend made lionfish and it was amazing! I would love to try making ti as well

  11. I haven’t yet but I love trying new things.These tacos look amazing!

  12. For those that have not tried lionfish yet, you will love it! I guarantee! See you soon Debra! Stop by Whole Foods Destin to pick up some lionfish fresh from Harbor Docks. Danielle, they are beautiful, and dangerous, as well as a hazard to all living things in our Gulf waters. Thank goodness they are edible and delicious!

  13. I’ve never tried lionfish before – I didn’t even know they were edible!

  14. I haven’t tried it yet. Your preparation is so attractive! It would be a good way to try it. I like putting fish on the grill, it doesn’t need to be fancy, with a squeeze of lemon.

  15. I’ve never had lionfish before but would try it for sure!

  16. I’ve never tried Lionfish, but am always open to new things!

  17. I haven’t tried lionfish yet. I actually hadn’t heard of it until just this summer when I saw an exhibit of them at the Charleston Aquarium. Beautiful, yet dangerous fish!

  18. I haven’t tasted it – I hadn’t even heard of it until I read this post! Sounds like an interesting food item.

  19. I have not tried Lionfish but I have heard great things about it!

  20. I haven’t tried lionfish yet. Headed to 30A next month maybe I can find some on a menu then.

  21. I have tried it but haven’t made it myself. I need to!

  22. I have not tried lionfish yet. A friend says it is delightful!

  23. Thanks Maryanne!!
    I only had Facebook and a comment as mandatory entries. I appreciate your comment, and safe travels when you come our way. You will LOVE Whole Foods Destin! 🙂

  24. I grilled some with bbq spice and tasted good

  25. I posted on twitter, Facebook, pinterest, and Google, but only Facebook is showing…..

  26. I love Whole Foods, can’t wait to visit the new market when we are down for the winter!

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