These blackened cod fillets are seasoned with herbs and quickly pan fried to a caramelized crust. They are so flakey and buttery and full of flavor. Dinner is ready in less than 15 minutes!
Why this recipe is just so good....
- If you are looking for a quick dinner, fish fillets are the perfect answer. You don't have to light the grill, or turn on the oven. They are pan seared and cook in less than 15 minutes.
- Grocery stores carry jars of blackened seasoning, but you probably have the spices for the blackened rub. Homemade is always best and the rub is very adaptable. You can make it a bit spicier if you prefer. If you make blackened meats or fish often, then make a bigger batch and store in a tightly sealed glass container.
- We used frozen cod fillets that I defrosted using the faster method of soaking in cold water instead of defrosting in the refrigerator overnight. The fillets were individually frozen and stored in vacuum sealed plastic. I filled a large bowl with cold water and soaked the fillets for about 15 minutes to defrost and then ran under cold water to remove any ice crystals.
- I have used both a grocery store Blackened spice blend and my own recipe. We prefer mine because sometimes you are just in the mood for more or less of a particular spice and you can add or subtract as you like. Another fish recipe that you will enjoy is my Blackened Swordfish.
- Blackening food is a cooking technique where you use high heat in a skillet. The food is covered in seasonings and shallow fried in some butter. It is not deep fried, but with just enough melted butter to coat the pan. The key is not to move the fish for a few minutes until it is ready to flip. The cod will have a caramelized coating on each side.
- Cast iron skillets are preferred since they have excellent even heat absorption and produce great results for blackening the fish. But any heavy bottom, stainless steel or nickel-coated pans are good substitutes for cast iron. Non-stick pans are not recommended for blackening food.
- According to the USDA, seafood should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F for optimal food safety. There is a fine line between cooking fish to a safe temperature and overcooking and then drying out the cod fillets. So check the temperature with a meat thermometer sooner, rather than later. When it reaches 140°F it should only be 30-60 seconds longer to reach 145°F and the cod will be ready.
- I prefer using dried herbs when blackening food since the higher temperature could burn fresh herbs and they will taste bitter.
Yes, this mild tasting white fish is a high protein, low fat fish that is high in Vitamins A, D & E. It also is rich in omega fatty acids. It has 93 calories, 20 grams of protein and less than 1 gram of carbohydrate per 4 oz. of cod. WebMD states that it is also high in Iodine which helps lower risks of hypothyroidism. So Cod fish is a healthy low carb, keto friendly protein choice.
Cod fish is a mild, sweet tasting white fish with a flakey texture. When choosing cod, it should smell like the salty ocean without a strong fishy odor.
Since the seasonings that go along with Blackened Cod are fairly smoky and slightly spicy, side dishes that are fresh and cooling would go really well in the meal.
I like to serve a salad, such as delicate Butter lettuce, or coleslaw with this fish. Any fresh vegetable dish like Marinated Asparagus or Brussels sprouts that are quickly sautéed would be delicious as well.
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- These blackened cod fillets are seasoned with herbs and quickly pan fried to a caramelized crust. They are so flakey and buttery and full of flavor. Dinner is ready in less than 15 minutes!
- 2 ( 6 oz.) defrosted cod fillets
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 1 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning, optional
- ½ teaspoon each: garlic powder, celery salt, oregano, cayenne pepper, onion powder, thyme, salt, pepper.
- Mix together the seasonings.
- Use fresh or defrosted cod fillets either defrosting overnight in the refrigerator or in a bowl of cold water for about 15 minutes.
- Pat the fillets dry with a paper towel.
4. Rub the seasoning blend on to the top and bottom of fillets, pressing the spices down into the fish.
5. Heat a cast iron or other heavy skillet over low- medium heat. Swirl the butter in the pan to melt and pour in the olive oil. Raise heat to medium temperature.
6. Place the fillets in the hot pan and let it sear for 3 - 4 minutes. Spoon some of the butter/oil mixture over the fish. If the pan is smoking, you can turn the flame down bit. Use a metal spatula to carefully turn the fillet. Let it finish cooking on the other side for another 3-4 minutes. Spoon more butter/oil over fish. Use a meat thermometer to test for doneness. The cod is ready to eat when it reaches 145F°.
*If you don't have a cast iron skillet, use another heavy bottom pan such as stainless steel or nickel. Don't use a non-stick pan, the fish will slide around and won't get that beautiful blackened crust.
*Don't move the fish once it's in the pan. Wait at least 3 minutes since you want a good browned sear on the bottom before you flip.
*Always test the fish in the thickest part in the center. That will give you the true temperature.
*Since this recipe only serves two, just double or triple the ingredients for larger servings. Store any leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat in any pan for a minute or two. You can freeze leftover fish if well wrapped in plastic or aluminum foil and stored in air tight container. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator.
Keywords: Seafood, fish fillets, blackened fish, low carb dinner