Blackened Fish Recipe

Blackened Fish

Fried fish covered with well-seasoned cornmeal is a delicious addition to just about any meal. However, another wonderful Southern tradition is blackened fish.

This Cajun recipe traditionally is for channel bass*, but you can use any firm or fleshy fish that does not have a lot of oil such as catfish or red snapper. Blackened fish packs unique flavors that truly depend on a good cast iron skillet.


This ingredients list completes the blackening seasoning.

1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon oregano, ground
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper3/4 cup* unsalted butter, melted

Of course, you need fish. :)

6-8 fish fillets 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thick


* 3/4 cup of butter is about 3 sticks.

Now that the ingredient list out of the way, it is time to put your cast iron skillet to work and blacken some fish!

This recipe is simple, but due to the amount of heat required do not mistake the simplicity for easy.

Please use extreme caution. Your skillet needs to get hot.

To prepare your fish for blackening you first need to mix together all of your dry ingredients in a small bowl. After mixing the salt, herbs and spices together, set aside.

Now that you have the blackened fish seasoning ready, you can prepare your cast iron skillet.

Heat a large, heavy cast iron skillet with extremely high heat until it gets very hot. Your skillet may turn white on the bottom. Open any windows and turn on any fans or ventilation system you may have. The skillet may smoke initially before finally reaching the max heat. This may take anywhere from 10 -15 minutes.

Use the skillet with extreme caution and at your own risk.

With your skillet ready, you can now dip the fish fillets in the melted butter, completely covering the fish. Afterwards, dredge the fish in the blackened fish seasoning. Be sure to cover both sides and place 1-2 pieces into the skillet.

Cook the fish until it has a slightly charred appearance. Despite the name, blackened fish is not necessarily black. Each fillet should take no longer than 3-4 minutes to cook total time. You can cook them about two minutes each side or continually turn the fish during this time.

When the fish flakes, it is ready to eat.