What side dishes pair best with blackened fish? The best side dishes for blackened fish are fresh and light pairings like sweet and spicy coleslaw, asparagus salad, grilled asparagus, spicy mango salad, French green beans, tahini roasted cauliflower and starches like Greek roasted potatoes, lemon rice, and buttery corn.
Blackened fish is a quick and easy Cajun-inspired dish that’s equally healthy and delicious. However, the fish contains little fat and calories, making it less filling. Therefore, healthy, light, and flavorful sides are a must when you’re serving blackened fish for dinner!
We’ve gathered our nine favorite pairings that upgrade your dinner to a hearty one.
Sweet & Spicy Coleslaw
Sweet and spicy coleslaw is a bright and refreshing side dish that pairs well with blackened fish. The slightly spicy yet mild flavors of coleslaw do not overpower the blackened fish’s seasoning.
The coleslaw recipe combines finely shredded red and green cabbage, carrots, chopped green and onions with a sweet and spicy dressing of mayonnaise, mustard, black pepper, cayenne pepper, vinegar, and sugar.
After preparing the coleslaw side dish, we recommend refrigerating it for around two hours to allow the flavors to develop fully.
Bright green asparagus and peppery arugula salad are jam-packed with fresh flavors. These flavors will awaken your palate with unconventional yet interesting flavors that compliment blackened fish. This salad is one of the tastiest pairings to enjoy blackened fish and one of spring’s finest offerings.
Shave your fresh, raw asparagus stems into paper-thin strips. Then, add the arugula, edamame (fresh soya beans), breadcrumbs, and salty pecorino Romano cheese.
Lastly, toss the salad with a zesty lemon vinaigrette and a sprinkle of cilantro or Italian flat-leaf parsley.
Yes, we are mentioning asparagus spears for the second time in this article. Skip the salad and grill the asparagus if you prefer a warm side with your blackened fish.
Blackened fish’s smoky and spiciness matches the neutral, earthy tones of grilled asparagus.
Grill the asparagus spears until tender and golden brown. Then, top them off with salt, pepper, and a generous squeeze of lemon juice.
Spicy Mango Salad
Spicy mango salad is a smashing side dish that pairs well with blackened fish. The exciting mix of spicy, sweet, and sour will have your tastebuds up and jumping with pure bliss!
Add a balanced ratio of diced mango, finely chopped onion, diced jalapeno, fresh cilantro, salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lime juice to add a zing while balancing the sweetness of the mango.
If you aren’t a fan of fresh mangoes, consider using freshly diced pineapple as an equally delicious substitute. In addition, you can kick the spiciness up a notch by using other chili varieties.
Lemony Greek Oven-Roasted Potatoes With Garlic & Oregano
Greek, oven-roasted potatoes prepared with lemon juice, garlic, and oregano is a classic Mediterranean side. It works wonders with mild blackened fish.
Roast your par-boiled potatoes with a generous amount of olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, fresh oregano, and salt and pepper.
Enjoy the potatoes’ melting tender, fluffy insides, and crisp outsides of your Greek potatoes with your tender, blackened fish.
French Green Beans & Amandine
The 10-minute, classic French green beans side accompanies tender blackened fish perfectly!
Cook the green beans until crisp-tender. Then melt butter and olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat and add garlic, almonds, and lemon juice. Stir them constantly until your almonds start browning.
Toss the green beans with the fragrant mixture of pan-toasted almonds and finish off with salt and pepper for seasoning.
Tahini Roasted Cauliflower
Whole, oven-roasted cauliflower is a simple side pairing for spicy, blackened fish that works every time.
Our tasty, Middle Eastern-inspired cauliflower recipe requires a 45-minute roasting for fork-tender and lightly browned cauliflower heads. Once roasted, finish the dish with chopped fresh herbs and a slathering of garlicky tahini sauce.
Fluffy lemon rice pilaf is a typical South Indian dish that we love pairing with blackened fish.
Infuse your fluffy basmati rice with lemon juice and fragrant South Indian spices, and top off with roasted peanuts to make a delicious and brightly colored side dish with spice-rubbed blackened fish.
Fresh ginger and green chilies add a kick of heat to this simplistic Indian rice dish.
Buttery Corn On The Cob
Corn on the cob with large dollops of butter is a delightful summer side. Its mild sweetness will ensure the blackened fish stays in the limelight.
Boil the corn ears for ten minutes and slather in melted butter and kosher salt to taste. You can also spruce up the corn with a light seasoning of cayenne pepper and lime juice.
Best Wine Pairing For Blackened Fish
Blackening fish adds a lot of spiciness to your dish, calling for a big wine.
Consider pairing the following wine with your blackened fish:
- Grenache is a medium-bodied, dark-skinned red wine. It has a signature profile of bright acidity and spicy notes of cinnamon and violet floral notes.
- Syrah is a wine with one of the darkest full bodies; it offers dark fruity flavors from blueberries to black olives. Syrah’s punch of flavor that tapers off to a spicy peppery aftertaste pairs well with spicy, blackened wine.
- Sauvignon Blanc is a light, crisp wine heavy on acidity, ideal for any seafood. However, the acid edge makes Sauvignon Blanc especially tasty with fish.
- Mourvedre is a full-bodied, fruit-forward wine with juicy blackberry notes and faint hints of earthy gravel, perfume, and orange zest.
- Oaky Chardonnay is a full-bodied wine with a rich texture and sweet bouquet of vanilla and butterscotch notes. The creamy, buttery taste with hints of hazelnut and caramel offers a mouth-watering combination alongside blackened fish.
Best Sauces For Blackened Fish
A classic Creole sauce is a perfect match for spooning over blackened fish to add moisture and spiciness to your fish.
Creole sauce consists of canned tomatoes, celery, bell peppers, onions, garlic, and herbs and seasonings to add extra flavor.
Heat a tablespoon of butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Then, sauté the celery, onion, bell peppers, and garlic until just tender. Meanwhile, combine the seasoning, including pepper, oregano, basil, paprika, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce.
Next, stir the tomatoes into the sautéed veggies and add the seasoning, allowing it to simmer for 1 minute longer. Lastly, add vegetable stock and continue boiling the sauce for 10 minutes to allow most of the liquid to cook away.