This delicious blackfish recipe is a must try for everyone who loves easy but yummy recipes. Blackened blackfish cooks really fast and requires minimum preparation. Dinner is ready in less than 15 minutes!
What is blackfish-tautog
Tautog is a bottom feeder fish that likes to hide between rocks and wrecks. Their skin is heavily covered with slime that helps them to get around those rocks easily.
Tautog has firm flesh and mild taste. Its easy to overpower the taste to i prefer using only mild herbs in this recipe. The meat is firm but tender. A heard of people referring blackfish meat to a lobster meat. A “poor mans lobster” is that what they call it. I personally don’t think that it tastes like lobster. Especially the texture is not they same. Tautog has a flaky meat, lobster doesn’t.
I do have another recipe made fish similar to lobster meat in texture and taste. This pan seared monkfish is a perfect inexpensive lobster substitute.
Fish is very versatile and can be used in a large variety of recipes. You bake blackfish, grill, saute, pan sear and pan fry. Tautog is also great in chowders.
How to make blackened blackfish recipe (overview)
This tautog recipe is very easy and takes only about 15 minutes to complete. Start with rinsing blackfish fillet with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels and set aside.
Prepare the spice mixture. In a small bowl mix paprika, black pepper, thyme, a little bit of cumin, garlic powder and salt. Cover the fish completely with the mix, on both sides.
Heat butter in the skillet. I used cast iron skillet but if you don’t have one its ok. Use a regular pan. Make sure the butter is really hot before adding the fish.
Cook the fish for about 4 minutes on each side. The cooking time depends in the size and thickness of the fillet. Medium size 8 oz fillet will take exactly 4 minutes on each side.
Don’t move the fish around the skillet while cooking. We need to create that crust and color and we don’t want fish to stick to the bottom of the pan. Carefully turn it over after 4 minutes using a spatula and a fork.
To be sure that your blackfish is cooked all the way through, use an instant meat thermometer. Stick it in to the thickest part of fillet, away from the bottom of the pan and check. It should show at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
Its important to add lemon juice in the end. Lemon brightens up the flavor of the fish and pairs so well with all the spices we used here!
What does it mean when the fish is blackened
This is just another method of pan searing the fish. Traditionally cast iron skillet is used for this task but any other skillet will work. Just make sure its very hot.
Fish will need to be cooked in butter and covered in spice blend. Spices i used in this blackened blackfish recipe :
- black pepper
- cumin (just a touch)
- thyme or oregano
- garlic powder
The pan will be smoking and its totally normal. Do not move the fish for 3 minutes to make sure then the proper crust is forming. Than flip and cook on the other side.
Where to buy
Blackfish is native to Atlantic waters, Nova Scotia to South Carolina. I have never seen tautog sold fresh here, in California. I usually order the fish from online stores and it comes in fresh. You can also purchase tautog frozen. Since the fish is delicate don’t refreeze it after thawing. It will lose its shape and texture.
Recipe tips and tricks
- Do not move fish during cooking otherwise it may stick to the skillet.
- You can check the internal temperature my sticking meat thermometer into the thickest part of the fish. It should read 145 degrees Fahrenheit when fully cooked.
- Top fish with chopped green onions, lemon slices, chopped cilantro or parsley.
- If you want to slice the fish, move it to the cutting board and slice into equal pieces using a sharp knife.
Side dishes for this tautog recipe
You can serve this blackened blackfish with a bowl of white rice. Add drippings right on top of the rice and enjoy together. Or boil baby potatoes, mix with butter and dill, yum! Mashed potatoes is a great side dish for white fish. Always delicious.
What to do with leftovers
Typically fish leftovers should be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days. Use an air tight container or keep it in the deep bowl with flat plate on it. I did not freeze it before but i think, cooked blackfish will be ok when frozen. Just make sure to freeze fish in the freezer safe container or bag for 3-4 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
More fish seafood recipes readers love
- Baked turbot recipe
- Air fryer frozen tilapia
- Pan seared catfish nuggets
- Baked whole striped bass in foil
- Orange roughy recipe
- Cobia recipe
- Pompano recipe
- Yellow croaker recipe
Hope you will love this blackfish recipe as much as we do. Its a bit crispy, its melt in your mouth tender and its just delicious!
- 1 blackfish fillet (8oz)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- pinch of cumin
- 1teaspoon thyme or oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ lemon
- Rinse blackfish fillet in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
- Mix spices in a small bowl and cover the fish entirely.
- Heat butter on the skillet (it has to be very hot) and place fish in it. Cook for 4 minutes on one side and than for another 3 minutes on another side.
- Move to the plate and squeeze some lemon on top. Serve
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 121Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 2209mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g