Lion fish ceviche
Today I went fishing for lion fish. I caught eight with the assistance of fellow divers who spotted them for me. I used a three prong spear with a Hawaiian sling. The sling broke at the beginning of the dive and although I kept shortening the loop of the surgical tubing sling, it continued to break. I resolved to simply get close enough and then jab the lion fish. I lost a few but by the end of the dive I had enough to make my long time dreamed of ceviche. I kept three and left the others with my friend and crew member, Keshaun, who had carefully cut off all of the poisonous spikes and barbs that make these gentle, docile but invasive species so dangerous.
I went to the local market to purchase coriander, peppers, onions, garlic and lime. With a not so sharp pocket knife I became a Swiss Army chef. First I chopped the garlic, then onions with a sprinkle of salt and fresh lime juice. I prepared the broth that would cook the fresh raw fish. Finely sliced leaves of cilantro were added with two julianned hot peppers, followed by green and yellow peppers cut in tiny cubes and one small tomato.
With a rounded plate as a filet board I did my best to clear the meat from the bone. With a handy slice from the knife I began to peel the skin from the tiny filets. The pale white meat was cut into smaller chunks and added to the brew. To chill and simmer in a refrigerator while the lime juice slowly cooks and cures the meat.
With two tiny filets left, I set them aside as I returned the fish heads and carcasses to the old broken down fisherman dock that has become the center piece to my apartment. Like an arrow pointing me to the sea. I return the meat to be consumed by the jevenile fish that make the abandoned pier a nursery.
When I return to the kitchen I place a drop of oil in a pan and sear the small morsels of fish for three minutes. The fried fish is a local delicacy. Keshaun comes to my apartment and tells me he gave his fish away so I take a bite of the tender sweet meat and give him the rest. He already told me he wouldn't eat raw fish so I do not offer him the ceviche that is finalizing in the fridge.
I take a small helping of ceviche in a foam cup and place it in a cooler bag as I make my way out the door.
This evening I have my most recent group of divers, self named from their amazing ability to make their two fins into a mono fin and swim like mystical creatures of myth that we call mermaids. Before their quizzes and exam they sample the ceviche and eat the food that is fresh from the sea. The catch of the day!