Oh baby, blackening seasoning is a spicy blend not for the faint hearted.
Blackening seasoning slowly creeps up on you after your first bite, tempting you to take another bite and another bite. It’s “burn” is just enough to put a little sweat on your brow but not enough to overwhelm the dish. It’s thought that Chef Paul Prudhomme from Louisiana invented the blackening process. Blackening is a cooking technique that takes fish (or other protein) dipped in melted butter and seared at high heat in a cast iron skillet, resulting in a brown-black crust.
My blackening seasoning mix takes its cue from a fun restaurant in Montauk, NY called the Gig Shack. Several years ago, when visiting my twin sister in Ditch Plains (known for surfing) I tore a page out of Whalebone, a local surfer magazine, that had printed Gig Shack’s famous Blackened Fish Taco recipe. Well, kind of. At least it gave the Gig Shack’s blackening spice blend recipe and then gave more of a suggestion as to how to make the blackened fish tacos.
What Spices Are In Blackening Seasoning?
Our seasoning blend has chili powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper. We’ve opted out of the thyme and oregano you’ll see in several other blackening spice blends including Chef Prudhomme’s version.
As great as Gig Shack’s blackening seasoning is, I’ve toned down our seasoning a bit by decreasing the chili powder and cayenne pepper. I also substituted garlic powder for the granulated garlic merely because garlic powder is always in my cupboard and granulated garlic is not.
For those of you that want the original Gig Shack blackening seasoning, it calls for 1 Tablespoon chili powder, 1 Tablespoon paprika, 1 Tablespoon onion powder, 1 Tablespoon granulated garlic, 1 Tablespoon salt, ½ Tablespoon ground cayenne pepper, and ½ Tablespoon black pepper.
How Do You Make Blackening Seasoning?
Simple, simple, simple. Just mix the spices together and in under 5 minutes and less than a dollar you have blackening seasoning to use on fish, chicken or pork. Homemade spice mixes are economical and a great way to control both flavor, sodium and preservatives.
See our other homemade spice mixes like:
How To Store Blackening Seasoning
Keep the seasoning in an airtight container in a cool dark place, just like your other spices. If stored properly, the blackening seasoning should last at least a year, so be sure to label and date the blackening seasoning on the storage container. The seasoning doesn’t really spoil as much as the flavor profile will fade over time and not give the flavor impact of a fresh spice blend.
Light and moisture are the biggest enemies to herbs and spices. That’s why you don’t want to store your spices above the stove or sprinkle directly into a hot pot letting steam get into the jar.
What’s In Paul Prudhomme’s Blackening Seasoning?
According to the NY Times, chef Paul Prudhomme’s blackening seasoning is 1 Tablespoon paprika, 2 ½ teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon thyme leaves and ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves. Chef Prudhomme’s technique is to dredge fish (typically redfish) in melted butter, sprinkle with his blackening seasoning, and sear in a very hot cast iron skillet for a few minutes, flip and finish cooking. Then serve with extra melted butter. Delicious……but an awful lot of butter!
Chef Paul Prudhomme’s blackening technique complemented the fish flavor, not overpowering it. Many restaurants way overdo the spicy blend to the point that the diner can’t tell what they are eating. But if done right, blackening seasoning is a wonderful way to add kick to a fish (or other protein) dish.
How To Use Blackening Seasoning
Blackened Fish Tacos
Blackened Shrimp Over Fettuccine Alfredo
Blackening Seasoning Mix Recipe
This blackening seasoning is just the right balance of spices to bring fish, chicken or pork to life with a gentle kick, but not overwhelming. Easy and inexpensive to make.
- 1 Tablespoon Paprika
- 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
- 2 teaspoons Chili Powder
- 2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Black Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Ground Cayenne Pepper
Mix all ingredients well. Store in a cool, dark place in an air tight container for up to a year.