This blackened halibut recipe is so delicious! The inside of the fish is tender and flaky while the outside is crusty and well-seasoned.
Halibut is a white-fleshed mild-tasting fish, and as a result, halibut recipes are often mildly flavored. I actually prefer bolder flavors. Happily, blackening turns this fish into an intensely flavorful dish that my entire family enjoys.
My first time trying blackened fish was during a visit, a few years ago, to the American South. I really enjoyed the bold flavors of the dishes I tried there! So as soon as I returned from my trip, I started making this recipe at home.
What is the blackening cooking technique?
When blackening food, the food is dipped in melted butter and then dredged in a mixture of herbs and spices. It is then cooked in a very hot cast-iron skillet.
This creates e characteristic brown-black crust on the food, the result of browned milk solids from the butter and charred spices. So in this recipe, the halibut becomes crispy and blackened when the seasonings used to coat it become charred in the hot skillet.
Blackening is a very tasty way of preparing fish. The inside is tender and flaky while the outside is crusty and boldly seasoned. Blackened salmon is excellent too.
The ingredients needed for this recipe
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this blackened halibut recipe. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Spices: I like to use paprika (or smoked paprika), dried thyme, dried oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.
Kosher salt: If using fine salt, you might want to reduce the amount you use, or the fish could come out too salty.
Halibut fillets: I like to use skin-on fillets. I find fish skin to be absolutely delicious. But if you'd rather use skinless fillets, that's fine.
Butter: For cooking the fish. You can also use a high-smoke-point oil such as avocado oil. But butter is more flavorful.
How to make blackened halibut
It's so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. In a shallow dish, whisk together the spices and the salt. You can use a small hand whisk or simply a fork.
2. Next, you sprinkle the halibut fillets with the spice mix and press to help the spices adhere to the fish.
3. Fry the fish pieces in butter over medium-high heat until cooked through, about 4 minutes per side.
4. Spoon the tasty pan juices on top of the fish and serve.
What to serve with blackened halibut?
It's really quite versatile and can go with many side dishes. I like to serve it with any of the following sides:
What to do with the leftovers?
If you have leftovers, you can keep them in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 3 days. Make sure you reheat them very gently though, so as not to dry out the fish. Reheat them covered in the microwave, on 50% power.
More tasty fish recipes
Grilled halibut is flavorful and very easy to make. My husband and I really enjoy it. And since my husband is usually in charge of outdoor grilling, he usually makes this recipe while I get to rest and enjoy the meal!
And keto fried fish is amazing. You get to eat fish 'n' chips (well, at least the "fish" part), but it's actually good for you!
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- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 (6 oz) halibut fillets, 1 to 1/12-inch thick
- 2 tablespoon butter
- In a shallow dish, whisk together the paprika, thyme, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, kosher salt and cayenne.
- Sprinkle the halibut fillets with the seasoning mixture, pressing with your fingers to help the coating adhere.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, 2-3 minutes. Traditionally you would use a cast iron skillet, but I use a nonstick hard anodized aluminum skillet to minimize the risk of sticking.
- Add the butter to the hot skillet and swirl to coat. Add the halibut fillets. Cook 4 minutes on each side, until the fillets turn from translucent into opaque and white (it’s fine to cut a small slit and peek).
- Spoon the pan juices on top of the fish, and serve.