Blackened Catfish

Authentic Louisiana Blackened Catfish

Traditional Louisiana-style blackened catfish seared
on an outdoor grill in a cast-iron skillet

This authentic recipe is taken directly from a restaurant in New Orleans. The seasoning is quite hot, so you may want to experiment with the cayenne powder the first time. A good, heavy cast-iron skillet is a must with this recipe. The high temperatures required for the blackening process will warp or burn the nonstick coating off of most other pans.

The process puts off a lot of smoke, so open up your windows and turn on the exhaust fan! I’ve also had great success cooking this on my outdoor charcoal grill.

The aroma is quite pungent, but ohhh so good!


Click here for the Rub.

One or two fresh catfish fillets, pressed flat
Milk, buttermilk or olive oil
Butter for searing
Fresh lemon
Scallion for garnish


Mix the dry rub ingredients well and store in an airtight jar in your fridge or cupboard. Will keep for up to one year. This recipe uses only a couple tablespoons for dusting, so you will have plenty leftover for next time.

Make sure the catfish fillets are washed and patted dry. Press them flat with a heavy spatula. This will ensure more even cooking.

Dip each fillet in milk, buttermilk or olive oil. Shake off the excess and put in a plastic bag with about two tbs of dry rub. Shake evenly to coat.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet to medium-high. Put a pat of butter in skillet and sear each fillet for about 2-3 minutes per side until blackened. Depending on the thickness of the fish, actual time will vary. TURN ONLY ONCE OR YOU WILL PULL THE COATING OFF. Check the thickest part of the fish for doneness; it should flake easily with a fork and the juices should run clear.

Remove immediately and serve with lemon wedges and chopped scallion for garnish.


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