Blackened catfish is truly a Louisiana staple. It’s perfect for quick weekday meals or part of of a holiday food spread. The catfish is heavily coated in Cajun spices and seared in a cast-iron skillet at a high heat forming a spice crust on top.
Legendary Cajun Chef Paul Prudhomme made the method of blackening proteins mainstream back in the 80s when dipped redfish fillets in butter, coated them in cayenne and dried herbs, and cooked until the spices crusted the fillets.
In Louisiana, catfish is the “fish de jour” for Cajuns and Creoles across the states. We get most of all our seafood from the Gulf of Mexico where catfish and redfish are a plenty. Catfish is dense with a slightly sweet and mild flavor, and moist texture. This whitefish is low in calories, high in protein, and rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
To achieve the perfect blackening look and flavor, it requires the right blend of herbs and spices: salt, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, thyme, oregano.
The last critical element of making blackened catfish is the butter. Butter doesn’t have a high smoke point so expect a lot of smoke as you quickly sear the fillets. It’s a good idea to keep the vent fan on.
Balance out the heaviness of the blackened catfish with fresh vegetables or rice.
Combine all seasonings in a bowl and set aside.
Heat a cast iron skillet on medium-high until hot.
Melt butter in skillet. Add in two fillets at a time and cook for 5 minutes on each side.
Remove from heat and squeeze fresh lemon over the fillets.