This Blackened Catfish Recipe is guaranteed to get your tastebuds dancing! Serve with your favorite fresh Salsa!
The mild and flaky texture of the fish lets it take on whatever spices you throw at it — and in this case, the big flavors in Cajun seasonings really take the fish to the next level. The simplicity of the dish with only 5 main ingredients will make this weeknight recipe an instant hit with your family.
The limited number of ingredients in this dish makes it super easy to pull off. Catfish fillets, cooking oil, butter, and seasonings are all it takes to deliver a top-notch meal.
Ingredients 4 SERVINGS
1 1/2 pounds catfish fillets (4 to 5 fillets)
2 tablespoons seasoning (all-purpose seasoning with salt, pepper, and garlic, such as Cooks With Soul’s Soul Dust, or your favorite)
4 tablespoons blackening seasoning (or your favorite Cajun, creole, or blackening spice, divided):
Basic Blackening Seasoning (It may be spicy use Cayenne to your taste)
1 tbsp Garlic powder
1 tbsp Onion powder
1 tbsp Oregano, dried leaf
1 tbsp Thyme, dried
1 tbsp Black pepper
1 tbsp Cayenne pepper
2 tbsp Paprika or smoked paprika
4 tablespoons grapeseed oil (or other high smoke point oil, divided)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (divided)
chopped parsley (for serving)
lemon wedges (for serving)
When making blackened catfish, there are a couple of keys to success.
1. Gather the right tools
A nice cast-iron skillet or other heavy-bottomed skillets
A fish spatula or other wide, thin metal spatula that lets you flip the fish easily, without disturbing the crust you’ve worked to build-up
2. Allow time for seasoning
When working with blackening spices, you want to make sure that you give the fish time to absorb the spice mixture and begin to sweat a little so that you do not lose all your spice on the prep table.
First I season my fish with a good all-purpose seasoning and give it a nice press, then I come behind that with the blackening rub.
You want to season from up high so that you get a thick even coat to cover the fish. Let it sit about 10 minutes before you flip it to season the other side. By the time the fish hits the pan, it should have a dark reddish tint to it.
Cooking blackened catfish is an easy technique but in order to achieve that perfect blackened crust that we love, be sure to go step by step. I use an oil and butter mix because it lets me cook the fish as well as give it a rich brown butter flavor from the melted butter. Also, including some oil is a trick that keeps your butter from burning at high temperatures.
1. Heat the pan
Start heating up your skillet until you see a little smoke coming from it. Use medium-high heat rather than high heat so the spices won't scorch.
2. Add the oil to the hot skillet
Let the oil sit for 1-2 minutes until shimmering.
3. Add your butter and crank up the fan
Be sure to crack a window and turn your exhaust fan on high because you are about to have a nice billow of earthy, spicy, buttery smoke fill the room. Once you see the bubbles from your butter form, it’s time to add the fish.
4. Add the fish
Lay the fish in the pan away from you to keep from getting splattered by the hot oil. You want to make sure that every part of the fish is in contact with the skillet, so I like to give it a little press just to make sure it’s flat.
5. Resist the urge to flip too early
The fish is going to seem like it’s burning, but you must resist the urge to move it around. A good blackened fish will have a nice crust on it from the herbs in the spice roasting in the oil and butter. I let mine cook about 4-5 minutes before I flip it.
6. Flip the fish over
Give it a little press, and cook for another 4-5 minutes. When the fish is done it will easily flake apart and be white on the inside.
I like to place my fish on a tray with paper towels just to soak up a little of the oil and butter from the skillet.