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Northern Snakehead "Frankenfish" Invasive Predator In 17 States!

If you can't Beat 'em Eat em!

Called Unagi Don in Asia the fish that can survive out of water for days is popular cuisine in China but destroying perch and American eel populations!


Channa Argus or the Northern Snakehead are very unique fish. They have the ability to breathe oxygen and can survive out of water for 4 days. They also mature very fast and start spawning within 1-3 years. Dependent upon the ecosystem, Northern Snakehead can spawn UP TO 5 TIMES in one season from April to August, which potentially means 50,000 eggs can be laid in a season. They are very territorial during this time of year because they guard their eggs. The fry will hatch in 2-4 days and then will feed off of the embryonic sacs they are attached to. The female and male will guard these bright orange fry balls much like a female Largemouth bass. Any sort of invader is bound to get eaten. Snakehead have a slightly more firm fillet than tilapia and near-zero gaminess or fishiness. Eat the invaders is what people are calling it when they harvest these fish. So instead of giving your garden some snakehead fertilizer try filleting it up and pan-searing them.


“It is such a universal fish. If it weren’t for the name I think it would be on more menus.” “Can’t beat ’em, eat ’em,” is the slogan from Louisiana chef Philippe Parola.


“Eating invasive species is a really fun and interesting and charismatic way of attacking a very acute problem,” said Seaver, who advocates for sustainable seafood.


“Chef Chad Wells of Alewife restaurant tossed chunks of raw snakehead fish with cilantro and citrus to make something more ambitious than an $8 ceviche appetizer. It was an invasive-species eradication plan in a martini glass. ”Seaver, Parola, and Wells have been among the front lines serving snakehead on their menus. So far, snakehead has done well on restaurant menus helping combat this alien invasion. Now if snakehead ceviche isn’t your thing these next few dishes should be simple and delicious ways to prepare snakehead.




#1 – Pan-Seared Snakehead Tacos

The most simple yet effective way to truly taste the fish is to pan-sear them. Make sure you take the skin off of your fillet. Snakeheads have large tough scales which would inhibit cooking and just wouldn’t look appetizing.


Lightly crack salt and pepper on both sides of the fillet.

A little bit of olive oil or butter in a pan and a fresh fillet of snakehead.

The Pan should be at medium heat.

I’m a huge fan of a vegetal or fruit-based salsa with fish tacos. With how firm the fillet is it can hold a good amount of salsa on top without being too heavy and masking the flavor of the fish.

#2 – Fry ‘Em Up!

Much like any fish, it always tastes better fried. There’s just something about a cold beer or cocktail, a giant platter of fried fish with a wedge of lemon and good friends, that’s hard to beat!


#3 – Grilled

As I mentioned, Snakehead is firm and can hold up well unlike other flakier fish. Which makes this fish great for grilling! Startup the grill, once again with this fish being so neutral you can utilize your preferred spices and routine! In some cases, it’s better to leave the skin on when grilling fish so it is up to you.


#4. Po’boy or in a Fish Sandwich

Now it may not be a way of cooking Snakehead but once again the versatility of this fish is really endless. With the “steakiness” of the fillet, Pan seared, fried, or gilled and then put on a sandwich is the perfect match.

#5 – Snakehead Fish Cakes

A little more of a time-consuming method but the payoff is a fantastic dish. Much like crab cakes or other fish cakes the snakehead fish cake will be mixed and molded into little pucks or balls. Then battered and fried. As I’ve mentioned previously choose your desired fish cake recipe and add snakehead to it. I can’t stress the versatility of the taste and texture of the fish enough! Literally, any application you can think of can be utilized this fish!

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