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Home Healthy food Recipe Non-veg Blackened Catfish with Shrimp Sauce

Blackened Catfish with Shrimp Sauce

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Blackened catfish – An undeniably flavorful fish  coated in a rich array of herbs and spices, perfectly combined with savory shrimp sauce. Quick and easy to make – just 15 minutes from the stovetop to the dinner table. Not only is it delicious, but it can be a great addition to your healthy-eating meal plans!

Green Salad topped with Blackened Catfish

Making a variety of seasonings is kinda my thing. Even though I do it frequently, I’m still amused by how simple herbs and spices create stunning flavors when combined.

My recipe has undergone some trials and errors, especially with the attention to each spice (to get rid of the fishy smell). The result? An amazing spice-charred, crispy skin, yet flavorfully tender catfish.

This meal is for someone looking for that “comfort food” flavor, but still a great recipe to be added to your low-fat, low-carb, gluten-free, or Paleo meal plans!

Blackened Catfish with Shrimp Sauce

What does “Blackened” Means?

Blackened food is sometimes interchanged with charred foods. You won’t notice their distinction at first glance, but once tasted, you’ll definitely know the difference.

Blackened and charred dishes are similar by creating an intentionally “burnt” coating, to add flavor. However, “blackening” specifically involves the use of a variety of herbs and spices, making it a lot more flavorful.

This cooking method became popular in the 1980s and typically correlated with Cajun cuisines. (One of my favorites).

Recipe Ingredients and Variations

You won’t be needing much to create this dish. Basically, what you’ll need are catfish fillet and the following herbs and spices:

  • Paprika
  • Dried thyme
  • Oregano
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Parsley
  • Ground black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Salt

You can double up the recipe of this seasoning, then place it in an airtight container or jar for easy “blackened” seasoning.

If you weren’t able to find catfish in the market, substitute it with other white-fleshed fish such as perch, snapper, or trout.

Other Cooking Methods

Other than the cast-iron skillet searing method on the stove (which is the most widely-used technique to cook blackened fish) there are now new ways to make this wonderful dish:

In the Grill
To achieve a crispy and nice sear on the crust, I suggest using a cast-iron skillet on the grill. This is how to do it:

  1. Wash and pat the fillets to dry using a paper towel.
  2. Sprinkle catfish fillets with a generous amount of salt and let them rest for 20 minutes.
  3. Place the cast-iron skillet on the grill and preheat on medium-high heat or 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Sprinkle the fillets with the blackening spice rub (see instructions below), pressing gently to adhere.
  5. Add ½ stick of butter to the preheated pan and give a swirl. Add more as needed.
  6. Put the fillets in the skillet and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until dark crusts are forming.
  7. Flip and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes or until the flakes of the fish move apart when gently pressed.

In the Oven
The steps are also easy if you chose to use the oven:

  1. Preheat your oven to 190° C.
  2. Wash and pat the fillets to dry using a paper towel.
  3. Line a sheet pan with foil and lightly brush with olive oil.
  4. Brush the fillets with olive oil.
  5. Rub both sides with the blackening spice rub (see instructions below)
  6. Place on the lined and oiled sheet pan (skin side down)
  7. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until nicely browned.

In an Air Fryer
Of course, air fryers can be used to make these blackened catfish! Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Wash and pat the fillets to dry using a paper towel.
  3. Generously coat each side of the fish with the blackening spice rub (see instructions below)
  4. Spray the fish fillet with olive oil, and transfer it to the preheated air fryer basket.
  5. Cook for 4 minutes then flip and spray with olive oil and cook for another 4 minutes.

Serving Suggestions

The flavorful flesh of catfish is excellent to pair with the taste of shrimp simmered in tangy, well-seasoned tomato sauce of Shrimp Creole or this Shrimp Etouffee. 

But you are always welcome to serve it with plain rice, Cheese Grits, or any sauteed, roasted vegetables or salad of your preference. Or you can also try these choices below:

However, I highly suggest minimizing the seasoning of your chosen side (than what the recipe calls) to match the burst of flavors brought by the blackened fish. 

Left-over Meal Storage and Re-heating Instructions

Whenever I cook this meal, I always make sure to have the fish and the shrimp sauce on different serving plates for easy storage and re-heating of left-overs. 

For the catfish, you can store them in airtight containers and place them in your refrigerator for 3 to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Whenever you want them, avoid using the microwave to re-heat, or else, you’ll dry out the fish.

Instead, drizzle them with little oil and place them in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes or until heated through. You can also do it in the toaster oven if re-heating in small batches.

For the shrimp sauce, store it in an airtight container and have it stored in your fridge for up to 3 days. I suggest not freezing them or else the shrimp will taste nasty.

More Blackened Recipes To Try

Blackened Catfish in Cast Iron Pan

How to Make Blackened Catfish

Blackened Catfish

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, or jar and stir so that all the ingredients have been fully combined. Brush melted butter lightly over catfish fillets and sprinkle with the blackened seasoning mix. Repeat for the other side. Be sure to completely coat each fillet. Heat iron cast skillet until it is very hot, about 10 minutes. Pour the leftover butter into your skillet. Carefully place the catfish fillets into the skillet and cook for about 4 minutes on both sides. This blackened seasoning mixture will produce plenty of smoke in your kitchen, so another way to tell when to turn over your fillets is when the smoke turns gray.

See the recipe box for the Full Shrimp Etouffee Recipe.

Blackened Catfish with Rice and Green Beans on the Side

Blackened Catfish with Shrimp Sauce

This undeniably flavorfu lBlackened catfish dish is coated in a rich array of herbs and spices, perfectly combined with savory shrimp sauce. Quick and easy to make – just 15 minutes from the stovetop to the dinner table. Not only is it delicious, but it can be a great addition to your healthy-eating meal plans!

Instructions

Blackened Catfish

  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, or jar and stir so that all the ingredients have been fully combined. 

  • Brush melted butter lightly over catfish fillets and sprinkle with the blackened seasoning mix. Repeat for the other side. Be sure to completely coat each fillet.

  • Heat iron cast skillet until it is very hot, about 10 minutes. Pour the leftover butter into your skillet. Carefully place the catfish fillets into the skillet and cook for about 4 minutes on both sides. This blackened seasoning mixture will produce plenty of smoke in your kitchen, so another way to tell when to turn over you fillets is when the smoke turns gray.

Shrimp Etouffee

  • In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine melted butter, oil, and flour until smooth.

  • Cook on medium heat, stirring continuously, for about 10-12 minutes, until you have achieved the desired color.  Don’t walk away from the stove during this process. It might burn.

  • Add the onion, green bell pepper, and celery and cook for 8- 10 minutes – stirring frequently.

  • Then add garlic, thyme, and bay leaf – continue stirring for about 2 minutes.

  • Next, throw in about 1 cup of chopped tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, and Creole seasoning and let it cook for 5 minutes.
  • Gradually pour in about 2 cups of shrimp stock, bring to a boil and let it simmer. Add the shrimp, simmer for 5 more minutes. Or you may season the shrimp with creole seasoning, sauté for about 5 minutes. Then throw it in at the last minute. You’ve got two options here – both work.
  • Adjust the thickness of the soup and flavor with more shrimp broth or water, hot sauce, and salt.

  • Stir in green onions, and chopped parsley.

  • Serve shrimp etouffee with the blackened catfish and cooked rice.

Tips & Notes:

  1. Nutritional information doesn’t include the shrimp sauce.
  2. Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1catfish fillet| Calories: 468kcal (23%)| Carbohydrates: 9g (3%)| Protein: 75g (150%)| Fat: 13g (20%)| Saturated Fat: 3g (19%)| Cholesterol: 261mg (87%)| Sodium: 202mg (9%)| Potassium: 1801mg (51%)| Fiber: 3g (13%)| Sugar: 1g (1%)| Vitamin A: 2333IU (47%)| Vitamin C: 6mg (7%)| Calcium: 110mg (11%)| Iron: 3mg (17%)

Nutrition Facts

Blackened Catfish with Shrimp Sauce

Amount Per Serving (1 catfish fillet)

Calories 468
Calories from Fat 117

% Daily Value*

Fat 13g20%

Saturated Fat 3g19%

Cholesterol 261mg87%

Sodium 202mg9%

Potassium 1801mg51%

Carbohydrates 9g3%

Fiber 3g13%

Sugar 1g1%

Protein 75g150%

Vitamin A 2333IU47%

Vitamin C 6mg7%

Calcium 110mg11%

Iron 3mg17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.



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