Barbecued Catfish with Cajun Spice Butter


I am a big fan of Cajun cooking and nothing says Cajun food more than blackened catfish. It takes a really hot cast iron skillet to give you that delicious blackened crust, but we are grilling here! Those spices are so amazing, who needs the pan?

Here is a simple recipe that’s full of flavor. The catfish is given a really quick marinade with lemon juice and Tabasco and then seasoned with blackening spices. Whip up a little Cajun Spice Butter and put a dab on the fish as it comes off the grill. For really great eating, grill up some corn along side the fish and give it a slather of the spiced butter as well. OOO-WEE!

Barbecued Catfish with Cajun Spice Butter

serves four

4 catfish fillets
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
3 tablespoon blackening spice (recipe) or store-bought*
Sea salt, to taste
Neutral oil, for brushing
Cajun Spice Butter (recipe follows)
Perfect Grilled Corn

*The blackening spice recipe does not contain salt. If using a commercial brand, taste it for salt and adjust the seaasoning.

Set up grill for direct cooking over medium heat. Brush and oil grates well before cooking.

Sprinkle the catfish fillets with lemon juice and Tabasco; set aside. Season the catfish with salt and the blackening spice on both sides using all of the blackening spice. Place catfish on the hot oiled grill. Cook the catfish for 4 to 5 minutes per side.

Remove fish and spoon a small amount of the Cajun Spice Butter over the hot catfish fillet. Serve immediately with Perfect Grilled Corn slathered with Cajun Spice Butter.

Cajun Spice Butter

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 clove garlic
1 pinch kosher salt
1 1 /2 teaspoons blackening spice
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Tabasco

Place softened butter in a bowl. Mince the garlic and sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt. Use the side of a chef’s knife to smash the garlic with the salt to form a paste. (This is called “creaming” garlic.) Add the garlic to the butter along with the blackening spice and Tabasco. Use a for to mash a until well blended. Butter can be kept in the refrigerator for up one month and in the freezer for three months.

Cheers and Happy Grilling!
~ Jeff


3 responses to “Barbecued Catfish with Cajun Spice Butter

  1. LOVE fish … even BETTER if you can grill/smoke it. Often, the challenge is … how to do the more delicate ones w/o having them fall apart … thx for sharin’ Chef Jeff.

    • Thanks, Doug! For more delicate fish, I find that a grilling basket or a grill grid help a lot. The grid works well and you still get some char, but have more surface space so the fish doesn’t break apart and fall through the grates. The baskets are nice in that they keep the fish intact, but sometimes I find them a little awkward to fit on the grill.

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