If you’ve never heard of blackened fish or ‘blackening’ fish before reading this article, then you have been missing out on a delightful meal.
It’s a quick and easy way to prepare fish, using spices you probably already have in your spice rack.
It requires no special skills or fancy equipment – only a boiling pan and a (preferably unscented) oil of your choice.
And it tastes delicious. The term ‘blackening’ fish refers to a cooking technique first developed by the Cajun people of Louisiana.
It means quickly searing your fillets on both sides with spices in a cast iron pan.
The sooty dark color comes from bits of ground black pepper, which stick to the fish and turn into carbon when you press them against the hot metal pan.
The spice mixture is savory, and the fish itself tastes mild and moist.
Blackening fish can be done on any firm-fleshed fillet.
I’ve tried it with catfish, mahi-mahi, grouper, cod, and tilapia so far.
All turned out exceptionally well.
In this article, we will list seven side dishes you can serve with blackened fish.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes with Blackened Fish?
Although blackening a fillet of fish is extremely easy, you might want to consider serving the dish with some side dish.
Why? Because blackened fish in itself doesn’t contain much fat or calories, making it less filling than other dishes.
Another reason to serve side dishes with blackened fish is that it tastes so good.
Just imagine, you’ve spent a little time in preparation, and your family or friends are enjoying the delicious meal.
It makes cooking the dishes together even more rewarding.
It’s best to combine blackened fish with a side dish that doesn’t contain any strong spices to overpower the blackening seasoning taste.
Also, when serving fish, you want to make sure that other smaller dishes don’t take too long to prepare.
If your family or friends are busy eating the main dish and one of them asks for more side dishes because they are still hungry, it’s not a good idea to serve something complicated like rice or noodles.
Instead, you can quickly cook potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, or other relatively simple side dishes.
What to Serve with Blackened Fish? 7 BEST Side Dishes
If you plan to serve blackened fish as your main dish along with only one side dish, then having something that doesn’t add much spice (or flavor) is best.
Colorful vegetables are also ideal for serving with blackened fish, as they brighten up the plate.
The following seven side dishes are perfect combinations for blackened fish:
1 – Spicy Coleslaw
This spicy coleslaw is ready in just 15 minutes.
It combines finely shredded cabbage and carrots with chopped green onions, parsley, and a creamy dressing made of mayonnaise and sour cream.
Coleslaw is a popular side dish with seafood, and blackened fish is no exception.
The flavor of this coleslaw is mild and delicate, so it doesn’t overpower the taste of the blackening seasoning.
If you decide to serve another side dish on top of this one with intense flavors, then that’s fine – coleslaw goes well with spicy food too.
2 – Oven Roasted Potatoes
These oven-roasted potatoes are seasoned with paprika, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.
They’re a delicious side dish that goes well with meat or fish.
These potatoes are baked until golden, with a crispy outside and soft inside.
The blackened fish will leave faint flavors on the potatoes’ skin, mixing nicely with the spices.
You’ll need to wait five minutes after taking out the oven before you can enjoy these potatoes – they taste delicious while still hot.
3 – Grilled Asparagus
Grilled asparagus is a great companion to blackened fish.
It only takes 10 minutes to examine, so it’s quick and easy.
Asparagus spears are grilled until tender and golden brown, then served with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice or light vinaigrette dressing.
Blackened fish has a smoky, spicy flavor that matches well with the natural taste of asparagus.
A simple side dish like this one is perfect for serving along with blackened fish, especially when you want a flavorful but easy to prepare meal.
4 – Quick Sauteed Spinach
This quickly sauteed spinach is ready in just 10 minutes.
It’s a healthy and nutritious side dish with fresh spinach that’s cooked just until wilted.
This side dish is seasoned with garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.
It doesn’t contain many flavors so that it won’t overwhelm the taste of your blackened fish.
The spinach can also be served hot or cold – it tastes great when eaten either way.
To make it more fun, you can serve this side dish plain or add in other things like garlic, parmesan cheese, and croutons.
5 – Scalloped Potatoes with Bacon
Scalloped potatoes are baked in a creamy sauce made of bacon, onions, and cheese.
You can see the recipe here, which is perfect for serving blackened fish.
The smoky flavor of the bacon will coat the soft potatoes perfectly while also complementing the taste of the blackening seasoning.
This side dish serves six people and only takes an hour to prepare.
It’s one of the more time-consuming side dishes but well worth the effort.
These creamy potatoes are filling but not too heavy, so they won’t weigh you down after eating.
6 – Buttered Noodles
Buttered noodles are a quick and easy side dish that goes well with blackened fish.
Preparing the noodles requires just 5 minutes of cooking, then they’re tossed in butter to make them moist and delicious.
You can add a bit of salt and pepper to season them.
When cooked, buttered noodles have a soft texture that pairs well with the crispiness of blackened fish.
These noodles are a fun option if you want something different from the more traditional side dishes.
They also taste great when you mix in other ingredients like ham, mushrooms, or peas.
7 – Buttered Corn on the Cob
Boil the ears of corn for about ten minutes or so, drain them, then slather in melted butter (or margarine) and salt to taste.
The corn can be grilled for added flavor, which goes well with the blackening seasoning on the fish.
This side dish is light but filling, so it’s perfect for a summer day spent with friends at a barbecue or cookout.
This side dish pairs exceptionally well with grilled fish or shellfish, but it can also be eaten alongside the main dish like steak or chicken.
In conclusion, blackened fish can taste great with many different side dishes.
For quick and simple preparation, try buttered noodles or buttered corn on the cob.
Grilled asparagus is another tasty option, while scalloped potatoes go well when you want something more filling.
Remember that you’ll need to serve your blackened fish with some starch as well.
White rice is a popular option, but you can also try mashed potatoes or French fries to go with your blackened fish.
Do you have any other suggestions for side dishes that are tasty with blackened fish? We’d love to hear.