Blackened Halibut

I wanted to make something new last night, and as we’re still complete neophytes in the kitchen I wanted it to be something simple. I’ve been browsing a few cooking blogs lately, and found the excellent House of Annie. I found a really easy way to pan-fry halibut on there, but they used a store-bought seasoning that we don’t seem to have easy access to in Canada. So a bit of random Googling got me a recipe which I adapted a bit and here’s what we ended up with!

Blackening spice:

3 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp cayenne (the original recipe said 1/4 tsp… lightweights!)
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp rough-ground black pepper
1/2 tsp thyme leaves
1/2 tsp dried oregano

Just mix all that up in a small bowl. Next, put 2 tbsp of oil into a non-stick frying pan and put it on a highish heat (we used 8 on our burner’s 1-10 scale). Then get your fish out of the fridge, cut them to whatever sizes you want, and put PLENTY of the spice all over them. I sprinkled it on and patted it in, though as I’m dumb and a total noob I forgot to do the sides of the fillet as well as the top and bottom – cover the fish completely.

The fish with the spice applied, right before cooking.

The fish with the spice applied, right before cooking.

Then after 10 minutes or so when the oil’s nice and hot, drop the fish in, reduce the heat to 7.5, and let them just sit and sizzle for 5 minutes or so. Then jerk the pan to make sure they’re not stuck, and flip with a plastic spatula. Cook for another 5 minutes, and take them out. And that’s it!

After flipping once.

After flipping once.

I LOVE ordering blackened stuff in restaurants and I wasn’t sure what to expect from this, just how close it would be in flavour. Well, it’s IDENTICAL to my favourite stuff (here in Vancouver, Earl’s do a great blackened chicken) and in fact a bit better as we obviously use more cayenne for heat! We served it with rice, asparagus and spinach, all steamed by my wife in a vegetable steamer we bought a couple years ago, and it was incredible. This cooking lark is great; I’m amazed and also annoyed that we didn’t make more of an effort to do this years ago.

All done!

All done!

The rough cost of the meal:
Halibut fillet, I think about 250g: $11.50
Spices: Let’s say $1 for the whole amount I used
Rice: MAYBE another $1, probably not but let’s keep the numbers easy
Asparagus: $2
Spinach: $1
Lemon: 50c

Total: $17.00 for two people – plus some white wine and beer :)


  1. #1 by Nate on February 1st, 2009 - 10:33 pm

    Good going with making your own blackening spice.

    I do have to recommend that you get a cast iron pan for this. They do blackened fish much better than nonstick.

    Thanks for the mention!

  2. #2 by DaveS on February 2nd, 2009 - 10:39 pm

    Yep, we’re picking up a cast iron pan this week. I understand they’re also great for searing steaks with, and I don’t want to ruin (another) non-stick pan :)

    Thanks for reading, love your site.

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