Blackened cod is one of my favourite weeknight fish recipes for several reasons. I have always thought that cod requires something extra to bring it to life and blackened seasoning does just that. Only a few minutes of pan-frying are needed for a delicious flavour-packed crust to form. This dish really couldn't be much easier or quicker and it's also very versatile. Serving suggestions include rice, salad, green veggies, and sweet potato fries and blackened cod also makes a great taco filling.
🛒 What do I need to make this recipe?
- Cod - this recipe will work well with other mild flavoured white fish such as haddock, hake and pollock.
- Blackened seasoning - you can use ready-made or make your own. You can also use Cajun seasoning instead if you don't mind the extra heat. Cajun and blackened seasoning share the same main ingredients and flavour profiles.
- Oil - you can use any neutral tasting oil with a high smoke point. Do not use olive oil because it has a lower smoke point and will not be able to withstand the high cooking temperature required to create the charred crust.
Tools & equipment:
- Chopping board - for prepping the fish fillets. Ideally this should be a board designated for raw meat and fish.
- Medium sized bowl - for mixing the seasoning ingredients. Choose one with a large flat base that will hold the cod fillets if possible.
- Medium sized frying pan - choose a frying pan large enough to comfortably hold the cod fillets. Ensure you do not crowd the pan.
🧑🍳 How to make Blackened Cod
1. Prepare the blackened seasoning
Mix the smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne, garlic powder and optional oregano in a bowl or place the same volume of ready-made seasoning into a bowl.
2. Prepare the cod fillets
Remove the excess moisture from the cod fillets with kitchen paper and lightly salt on both sides. Then place each fillet into the bowl with the seasoning and turn until all sides are covered in a light layer of blackened seasoning.
3. Cook the cod fillets
Place a medium frying pan on a high heat and add oil. Add the cod fillets when the oil is hot and cook for 4-6 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan when both sides have developed a charred crust and serve immediately.
🍽 Serving suggestions
This recipe is very easy and speedy, but thankfully the large number of serving suggestions prevent it from becoming boring. Blackened cod tastes great with rice, salad, green veggies, fries, sweet potato fries and also makes yummy taco filling.
👍 Top tips for perfect blackened cod
- Remove excess moisture from the cod before you season it - this will ensure the blackened seasoning sticks to the fish and that you get that yummy charred crust.
- Season all sides thoroughly - for maximum flavour ensure all sides of the cod fillets have a light layer of seasoning on them before you start cooking. However, be sure to shake off any excess seasoning that may stick to the pan and burn.
- Get the oil hot before you add the cod fillets -nobody wants to miss out on the delicious charred crust so make sure the oil is smoking hot before you add the cod fillets. You can test whether the pan is hot enough to start cooking by adding a small drop of water. If it forms beads the pan is ready.
- Turn the cod fillets once - cod is a flaky fish that can be prone to falling apart. Ensure your fillets stay whole by checking to see if the underside is done before turning over.
Cooked blackened cod will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days. Why not make extra so you have leftovers to add to a salad or for fish tacos the next day. Cooked blackened cod is not suitable for freezing.
The cajun pepper gives the seasoning a mild to medium heat. If you are very sensitive to spice you may want to reduce the amount of blackened seasoning.
They are similar and have the same main ingredients of paprika, Cajun pepper and garlic powder. Cajun seasoning is spicier than blackened you can substitute blackened seasoning for cajun seasoning if you don't mind the extra heat.