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Lionfish Fritters with Red Bell Pepper Coulis

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Mary Clayton Carl

Hands-on time 40 mins
Total time 40 mins

Makes 6 servings

Homemade, fresh seafood fritters can be on your table in 40 minutes. Red Bell Peppper Coulis makes the perfect dipping sauce.


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1/2 cup diced fennel
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 pound lionfish fillets, bones removed and diced (skin on or off)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 green onions, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 quart peanut oil
  • Red Bell Pepper Coulis

How to Make It

  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add garlic, fennel, and celery. Sauté 5 minutes. Add fish and red pepper, turn off heat, and leave pan on burner 3 minutes. (Fish will cook with residual heat.) Let cool.

  2. Whisk together half-and-half and egg in a medium bowl; add flour and whisk until smooth. Gently fold in lionfish mixture, cilantro, green onions, and salt.

  3. Heat oil to 350° in a 2-quart pot over medium-high heat. Drop batter, about 2 tablespoons at a time, into hot oil, using a large metal spoon to keep fritters separate. (Allow fritters to take on a natural shape.) Working in batches to keep oil at a constant heat, cook fritters, gently turning with a spoon to ensure even cooking, 3 minutes or until dark golden brown. Remove fritters to a paper towel-lined plate; serve with Red Bell Pepper Coulis.