Blackened fish isn’t usually black, but the name comes from the spice mix, which can be used on other things that are then cooked on a hot barbie or pan to colour them more than you would fish. Here, I’ve used a fish grill so I can get more flavour from the smoky coals, and an oily fish that is under appreciated, but goes wonderfully with the robust flavours. The recipe makes a lot of spice mix, but it keeps for a long time in an airtight container in the cupboard.






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  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 11 kg skinless black trevally fillets (you could also use mullet or mackerel), pin-boned
  • 100 g butter
  • lemon wedges, corn with smoked paprika and coriander butter, salad greens and potato salad, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Place spices, thyme, 1 tsp pepper and 1½ salt in a bowl and mix to combine. Transfer the mixture to an airtight container.

Check the fish for bones – sometimes the fishmonger misses a bone or two. If you’re using a fish grill over a charcoal barbecue, melt the butter and brush over the fillets. If using a chargrill pan or barbecue plate, melt the butter on that. Sprinkle some spice mix over the fish (it has some grunt, so don’t overdo it) and barbecue or grill the fish for 8 minutes or until just cooked through.

Serve fish with lemon wedges, corn, green leaves and potato salad.



Photography Alan Benson


As seen in Feast magazine, March 2014, Issue 29. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.