Breakfast & Brunch Fish Fish & Seafood Gluten-Free Grill Kitchen Main Dish Paleo

Bayou-ish Blackened Fish

By Chris Capell

The blackening technique made famous down in Louisiana involves coating the fish in butter, coating with seasoning, and cooking in a dry, smoking hot (at least 600°F) cast iron skillet for just a couple minutes per side. This technique for blackened fish works best on thinner fillets, and is only recommended outdoors or under a well-ventilated exhaust hood. Good chance of setting off your smoke detector if you do this indoors without a strong exhaust fan.

Blackening will toast the spices and slightly char the meat very quickly in 2-3 minutes per side.

See our recipe for thicker fillets, chicken, etc.

Deep Brown Pan Seared Fish


Print Recipe
  • Firm flesh fish filets about 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick (redfish, mahi mahi, grouper, catfish, tilapia)
  • Dizzy Pig Bayou-ish™ blackening seasoning
  • Melted butter or ghee


  1. Heat pan on well ventilated stove, hot grill, turkey fryer, or over the coals of a hot campfire. A cast iron pan is best. Everyone should own at least one. If cast iron is not available, a heavy bottomed pan made for high heat can be used.
  2. If necessary, cut filets into manageable pieces so they can easily be flipped with a spatula.
  3. Dredge fish through melted butter, or brush onto fish.
  4. Apply a moderate to generous coating of Bayou-ish. You can be surprisingly generous, as the intense heat will mellow the spices as they brown.
  5. When the pan is smoking hot, lay seasoned fish in pan. Some folks will spoon more butter over the fish at this point.
  6. Smoke will pour off, and butter may catch on fire, so be ready!
  7. Cook 2-3 minutes on the first side. The surface of the fish should be rich dark brown and black in places.
  8. Carefully flip, and cook for slightly less time on the second side (it will brown more quickly once hot).
  9. Remove and rest for a couple minutes, then serve immediately.