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A lot of “seasons” are closed right now in the ocean, but Blackfish or Tautog (Tog) remains open, and it is prime time for this tasty fighter. Need a reason to take home some of delicious fillets? Well this recipe is it, courtesy of an old high school friend. Wasabi Encrusted Blackfish will add some spice to any January night. It’s a simple way to spice up your winter menus. There are two ways to prepare this so pick the one that best matches your culinary and dietary preferences.

Ingredients (for 4):

  • 2 lbs. or so of Blackfish (Tog) fillets. You can substitute a meaty fish like a cod, halibut or

redfish depending on your location and the fishing season in your area)

  • 1 cup mayonnaise

  • 3 tsp wasabi paste

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 2 cups panko (Japanese-style

breadcrumbs. You can use substitute regular breadcrumbs, but the texture will be different. Other panko substitutes include cracker crumbs or crushed cornflakes

  • 1 tsp paprika


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.

2. Rinse fillets, dry with paper towels.

3. Combine mayonnaise, wasabi paste and salt; spread on both sides of fillets.

4. Combine panko and paprika in a pie plate (or similar).

5. Take one fillet piece at a time, dip into panko mixture, pressing lightly so that panko mixture adheres; coat both sides.

6. Place fillets in a single layer on a greased rimmed baking sheet.

7. Bake, uncovered, for 10 - 12 minutes per inch of thickness.


  • Pre-heat an appropriately sized frying pan (with sides high enough to control splatter) with vegetable oil. Start with medium high heat. It is important to get the oil hot but not so hot that anything burns. If you do not properly pre-heat, the oil will absorb into the coating. Use enough oil so that fillets are about 1/3 covered- a judgement call.

  • Rinse fillets, pat dry. Excess moisture will cause splatter when you lay fillets in the pan

  • Repeat steps 3-5 above

  • Place fillets in the pre-heated frying pan. Reduce heat if necessary. Flip when coating reaches a nice golden brown and remove when other side reaches the same. Be careful not to burn. Total cooking time 6-8 minutes depending on thickness of fillets

  • Remove and place on paper towel. Pat with paper towel to remove any excess oil.

  • Bon Appetit! Serve with your favorite sides!


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