Blackened Fish Sandwich

Photography and text by Jenny Shea Rawn MS, MPH, RD

Tag me @jennyshearawn and @capeandislandsmag if you try any of these recipes.

Blackened is one of our favorite ways to eat fish—there’s something magical about the combination of blackening spices and butter. Most of us only order blackened fish at restaurants, but did you know it’s easy to blacken at home? The blackening seasoning here combines spices you probably already have in your cabinet. Make a big batch of the seasoning and use it on seafood all summer long. And this dill sour cream “sauce” is incredible. It’s great on this sandwich, but don’t stop there. Use it on any baked, grilled, or fried seafood.

Recipe notes

If you prefer more heat in your blackening seasoning, add dried cayenne pepper to the mix, according to your taste.

The dill sour cream sauce is optional on these sandwiches, but if you skip it, make sure to serve the sandwiches with lemon wedges. The lemon adds a nice acidity and freshness to the fish. You could also serve the sauce on the side, so guests can add as they’d like.

This sandwich is also delicious with thick slices of cheddar added on top of the fish as soon as you take it off the heat. 


Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: ~10 minutes

Total Time: ~20 minutes




For the dill sour cream (optional):

  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the fish:

  • 24 ounces cod or haddock fillet,
    cut into 4 equal-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola or avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Flaky sea salt (look for one of the many local sea salts on Cape and the Islands)

For assembly and serving:

  • 4 brioche hamburger buns, toasted
  • 4 large lettuce leaves
  • 4 large tomato slices
  • Lemon wedges (optional)


  1. To make the dill sour cream, combine the sour cream, dill, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Pat the fish very dry on both sides. This will help the fish develop a nice crust and prevent it from steaming. To make the blackening seasoning, combine onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl. Mix well. Sprinkle the seasoning on all sides of the fish and press into the flesh using your hands. You want the fillets to be fully coated in the blackening seasoning.
  3. Add oil and butter to a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Blackening can create smoke, so turn on the exhaust fan and open a kitchen window, if possible. When pan is hot, carefully add the fish. Cook fillets for 2-3 minutes, until a nice dark crust appears on one side. You don’t want the fish to burn, but you want a nice dark color. Flip and continue cooking another few minutes until the fish is cooked through—the flesh should turn opaque and flake easily with a fork. If the individual pieces of cod vary in thickness, which they likely will in a fillet, you’ll want to monitor cooking time as it can be different for each piece. Total cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your pieces of cod.
  4. Remove fish from heat and sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
  5. Spread the dill sour cream on the top buns. Place lettuce, tomato, and fish on the bottom buns. Serve sandwiches with lemon wedges, if desired.

Tag me @jennyshearawn and @capeandislandsmag if you try any of these recipes.

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