“If you can’t beat them, eat them!” Bimini Big Game Club puts lionfish nuggets on the menu

Lionfish on the reef. Photo credit: Bill Watts

Constantly looking for ways to better the environment, last month the Bimini Big Game Club added lionfish nuggets to the restaurant’s menu. And, now one month after serving more than 400 servings of the new menu item, the panko breaded nuggets are the talk of the island and a tasty solution to help rid nearby reefs of the aggressive and non-native predator.

“Our lionfish nuggets have become a huge seller, and though we don’t serve endangered species such as grouper,  we have absolutely no problem in turning lionfish into a menu item,” said Big Game General Manger Michael Weber.

Lionfish, a member of the venomous scorpionfish family, are native to the Indian Ocean and South Pacific and were first observed in Florida waters in 1985. Around 2000, they appeared in noticeable numbers in the Caribbean and Florida waters and have continued to aggressively breed.

How bad is the lionfish invasion? According to Dr. Mahmood Shivji, a professor at Nova Southeastern University and director of the Guy Harvey Research Institute:

“There are enormous concerns that lionfish will completely change and possibly destroy Atlantic coral reefs by overrunning them and shrinking their native biodiversity, and that the ongoing damage is severe and possibly irreparable. So far, there is no known quick-fix, and the problem is escalating exponentially.”

The US federal government’s chief fisheries management agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is in agreement, having developed an Eat Lionfish campaign.

“If you can’t beat them, eat them,” said Weber.

If you want to “eat them” too, here’s the lionfish nugget recipe on the Bimini Big Game Club’s menu. Bon appetit!


If you can’t beat them (lionfish), eat them! Bimini Big Game Club adds lionfish nuggets to the menu.

Recipe for Panko Breaded Lionfish Nuggets ala Bimini Big Game Club

(Please carefully adhere to cleaning recommendations before preparing)

 Lionfish Nuggets

4 oz of Lionfish
1 cup liquid egg
Panko breadcrumb
Salt & Pepper
Cajun seasoning

In 3 separate bowls place your liquid egg, flour and breadcrumb. Cut Lionfish into small bite sized pieces and season with salt & Pepper & Cajun seasoning. Dip pieces into flour, shake off excess flour, and then dip into liquid egg and then into Panko breading. Once covered in the breading they are ready to take a long hot bath in some hot oil at 325 degrees until crispy golden brown.

Homemade Cilantro & Key Lime Tarter Sauce

Mayonnaise 1 cup
1 Gherkin’s or small pickle
2 TBS Key Lime juice
6 leaves of chopped cilantro
2 TBS of chopped capers

Make sure all above ingredients are FINELY chopped. Mix the above ingredients in a mixing bowl and fold ingredients together and add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until time of service to remain fresh.

The Bimini Big Game Club, located in Alice Town on North Bimini, features a 51-room resort and a 75-slip marina capable of accommodating boats up to 145 feet in length. A full service fuel dock will be operational by Spring 2012. For more information, visit the Bimini Big Game Club website.