Blackened Fish (or Chicken)

Since I have eschewed meat, I've been eating predominantly fish.  Hardly a hardship I hear you cry, especially when the fish I buy is usually some gorgeous (ethically sourced) bit of wild fish, such as sea trout, or halibut.  But still, fish several times a week can become a little bit uninspiring.  In Antigua I spotted a blackened flying fish burger, with a brioche bun, and a spiced remoulade - I think I must have eaten it three or four times in the remaining days before I had to fly home.

I scoured the net for blackening mixtures, and then played around with a few different recipes - they were pretty consistent in their ingredients, and after a little trial and error with the thirteen year old, we settled on the following mixture. This batch is enough to make about 8 fillets of fish, so don't pop it all into the plate in one go, and you should have enough left to make a further meal.

3 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp chilli powder
1½ tsp cumin
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp oregano
4 tsp onion powder
4 tsp garlic powder
1½ Tbs golden granulated sugar
3 tsp salt
4 tsp black pepper

Mix all of the ingredients together.  Coat the meat or fish in the blackening spice, and cook in a skillet, or heavy frying pan, until the fish or meat is cooked. #simples

  • You can up the oregano and thyme if you prefer a grassier mixture - we found it overwhelmed the balance if any greater than this, but the joy of blackening spice is that you can adapt it to suit your personal tastes
  • Ditto the sugar, we've made it with the sugar, and without - it's definitely nicer when it's included as it adds a caramel edge to the blackening
  • Although this blend sounds as though it will be quite hot, it's more of a fragrant tingling heat, than a blow-your-socks-off, palate-numbing combination.  The heat comes predominantly from the black pepper, so if you want to make it truly spicy, you might consider upping the chilli powder
  • Yes, part of the gig is that you actually have to blacken your food!  I usually pop it into a high heat first, blackening on both sides, before turning it down and allowing the fish to cook through.