Blackened bass is a simple and low fat meal, perfect for a sultry summer evening! This flaky white fish pan-sears to perfection and pairs beautifully with tahini chickpea and rice.
wild-caught blackened bass
The most important component of this dish is the bass, obviously! My husband took the boys fishing and they brought home several local Kansas largemouth bass filets. If you aren't a fisherman, no worries! This recipe can be made with any firm white flaky fish such as tilapia or cod if you aren't able to source your own largemouth bass.
Here is what you need to make it...
four to six wild-caught bass filets
blackening spice to taste, we used 1T of Fin & Feather
⅓ cup of Tahini
2T lemon juice, divided
1 chopped sweet potato
1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 cups of cooked brown rice
1 cup of chopped bell peppers, I used ⅓ each of red, yellow & orange
1 chopped onion
1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, to taste
fresh cilantro for garnish
how to cook wild-caught bass
The first step in cooking fresh wild-caught bass is to determine how many fillets are needed for each person to have a full serving. A general rule of thumb is that an adult will eat about 3.5 ounces. I prepared two one-ounce fillets per person and we had leftovers.
Cook fresh fish by heating a cast iron skillet or grill with plate insert to medium/high heat. Lightly grease the pan with olive oil to prevent sticking. Heat each side of the bass for about five minutes per one inch of thickness. Most bass fillets aren't anywhere near an inch thick, so follow your intuition and keep an eye on it! Ours were cooked through at about two minutes per side.
how to use blackening seasoning
Blackening seasonings can be custom mixed at home, or purchased in a pre-made blend. The spice blend is sprinkled over a fillet that has been patted dry and then is gently pressed in. Cooking over medium/high heat causes the spices turn black and have a rich, smokey flavor.
how to make tahini and chickpea rice
Simple garden stir fries are a staple in our summer kitchen. If the peppers are producing, I have an extra colorful bowl! When we are swimming in zucchini and squash, they get added, too! For this stir fry, experiment with any fresh produce that is on hand. This time I used bell peppers, onion and a sweet potato.
The cast iron skillet gets preheated over medium high heat and then I toss in the vegetables and chickpeas and sauté. Drizzled olive oil helps keep everything from sticking and then it gets seasoned to taste with salt and pepper. While the vegetables are cooking, I mix the tahini with the lemon juice. As the vegetables begin to soften and brown, I add the cooked rice. The rice can be drizzled with the tahinin sauce for extra YUM!
Wild-Caught Bass with Tahini & Chickpea Rice
- grill with griddle insert or cast iron skillet
- 4-6 fillets four to six largemouth bass filets about 3.5 ounces per person
- 1 tablespoon blackening seasoning we used Fin & Feather
- ⅓ C tahini
- 2 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice divided
- 1 sweet potato chopped
- 1 can chickpeas rinsed & drained
- 2 C cooked brown rice
- 1 C bell peppers chopped
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- fresh cilantro for garnish
for the tahini & chickpea rice
- Before cooking the bass, begin by sautéing the vegetables in a hot cast iron skillet over medium heat. Lightly drizzle the veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- While the veggies are cooking, mix one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice with the tahini to form a thick drizzling sauce.
- When the vegetables are almost cooked through, add the cooked rice and sauté for another minute. Begin cooking the fish.
for the blackened bass
- Rinse the fillets and pat them dry with paper towels. Season to taste with the blackening spice, gently press the spice against the bass.
- Preheat the skillet or grill to medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, grease with olive oil to prevent sticking.
- Cook the fillets for about two minutes per side. The general rule of thumb for fish is to cook a one inch fillet for five minutes, then flip and cook an additional five. Most bass fillets will be much thinner, so plan accordingly!
- Place the tahini & chickpea rice on the plate, then add the fillets on top. Drizzle with the lemon & tahini sauce and fresh chopped cilantro. This can also be eaten cold as a refreshing leftover lunch! Enjoy!
Our boys have really caught the fishing bug. Aaron didn't exactly have to twist any arms, though. If you love fresh fish, I'll be sharing more recipes this summer as the boys keep catching them! Meanwhile, feel free to check out my creamy bacon & morel toast or sourdough banana bread.