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Spicy Blackened Catfish with Salsa

I favor plain old fried catfish until blackened catfish arrives on the scene!

Blackened Catfish (6)

When most people think of blackened fish, they think “Cajun” when in actuality it’s a modern creation accredited to Chef Paul Prudhomme, one of New Orleans famous chefs. The food is dredged in a combination of herbs and spices such as oregano, paprika, thyme, peppercorns, chili pepper and then cooked in oil in a very hot cast-iron skillet. The spice rub makes a delicious flavorful crust. If you like more heat, go heavier on the ground red pepper ~ at your own risk!

Next time, I’d really be happy to find red snapper to blacken. I’m sure it would be delectable. Red snapper has not been available in the markets or restaurants here for several years. How about where you live? Can you purchase red snapper?

I hope you give my version of blackened catfish a try! It’s quick and piquant and is heavenly served with a little salsa on the side!
Spicy Blackened Catfish with Salsa

4 (6-ounce) catfish filets, dried
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¾ teaspoon ground red pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup cornmeal
Oil or butter for frying
Salasa, optional

Combine paprika, oregano, salt, peppers and cornmeal on a pie plate.
Coat the catfish evenly on both sides with the cornmeal mixture.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat.
Add butter or oil to skillet; enough to just cover the bottom and swirl to coat.
Add catfish and cook catfish until cooked through and golden brown and crispy on both sides.
Serve with your favorite salsa.
My Favorite Salsa:

Cooking spray
1¼ cups coarsely chopped onion
2 cups chopped tomatoes
½ cup low-sodium salsa verde
¼ teaspoon salt

Coat a large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat.
Add onion, sauté 4 minutes.
Stir in chopped tomatoes, salsa verde and ¼ teaspoon salt.
Cook 15 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently.
Place tomato mixture in food processor and process until smooth. Set aside.

Try this; I think you’ll like it!

Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips, recipes and cookbook giveaway!


  1. I am all over this! But, you'll never guess what I'm planning to do. So I guess I should tell you. I will blanch slices of Spam to remove salt and make blackened Spam. Don't gag. When blanched, Spam is like a nice canned ham.

  2. Stephen, great! I think even I would like your blackened Spam! Blackening definitely changes a food. ;)

  3. Emily, thanks! It was gooood!

  4. We recently had red snapper tacos in Bodega Bay, CA. Delicious! It was my father's favorite seafood. My mother wouldn't touch catfish so it has only been lately that I've come to really like it. Yours is the second blog recipe for catfish that I've seen today. The other is deep fried. Both sound delicious!


  5. I don't think there is a fish dish I do not like but sounds extra special. Diane

  6. I am not a fish lover, but these look wonderful!!

  7. Que delicia de receta, me gusta.


  8. We love catfish! When I go to Florida to see my parents, they take me to a little hole in the wall restaurant that has the best fried catfish. I am going to Florida in a few weeks and I am going to make your recipe for them. I will let you know what they think of it. I know they will love it, just like I love all of your recipes!

    Double Giveaway

  9. We love catfish and make it blackened often. I like your recipe I'll be sure to use it next time. We can get red snapper here in Florida...there are a lot of fish we can get here...and we still like catfish! :D

  10. Love blackened catish and yours looks divine! Love the addition of the cornmeal and that salsa sounds fab! We can still get Red Snapper here, but I love to order it at my favorite restaurant, stuffed with crab meat!

  11. Bonnie, those tacos sound great and your dad had good taste. I love catfish deep-fried but not the calories!

    Diane, fresh fish is so good, especially this time of year.

    The Slow Roasted Italian, I know what you mean. I was the same way till some years ago.

    jose manuel, gracias! Yo tambien.

    Linda, I love those little hole in the wall places! Most times they have the best food. Hope you all like this catfish!

    Lyndsey, wish we lived there just for the snapper and to be by the ocean would be a bonus! I'm sure you have a wide selection of fish by you!

    Marguerite, thanks! That sounds pretty delicious with the snapper. Yum! I love the texture of the fish when cornmeal is used.

  12. The Red Pepper must taste great on the Catfish! I've never had Red Snapper. Fish is so good!

  13. Looks really good Pam. We've been using Emeril's Essence as a blackening seasoning and like it's flavor.

  14. I love fish blackened the photo stopped me dead in my tracks just wonderfully done nice job Pam!

  15. JG, thanks! It's spicy good!

    Larry, I'll have to try that. I know his products are good.

    Claudia, thanks! Wish I lived down your way for all the fresh seafood!

  16. Yum! I love catfish. This recipe sounds awesome!

  17. that sounds flippin awesome!!

  18. Love blackened fish... of any kind!! You know, I think I have only seen red snapper a handful of times in the last year. I do love cooking with it.


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