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Cast-iron fish recipes?

I live in NYC, so I don't have a bbq. I have a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, well-seasoned, and I'm looking for some good, simple recipes for making fish under the broiler. I'm new to both cast-iron and broiling, so I'd like to keep it pretty basic for now.

The other night I tried out my (gas, under oven) broiler for the first time - I preheated my skillet in the oven at 500, then turned on the broiler, dropped 2 marinated chicken breasts into the skillet, and put them under the broiler for about 5-6 minutes. They came out amazing. The bottom had a great charring, and the breasts were moist.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

- SJAuletta

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  1. When I saw the post Cast Iron Fish, I immediately thought of blackened fish...I wonder if you can do it under the broiler? It's traditionally done on top of the stove in a cast iron skillet.

    1. Only if you've got a very good stove vent! Blackened fish done properly goes into a blisteringly hot pan with no oil. It will produce an incredible amount of smoke from the spices. The only kitchen I was ever willing to do it in was when I had a stove with a proper restaurant range hood.

      1 Reply
      1. re: zebcook

        Yeah, that's a no-go - my girlfriend and I are in a pretty small apartment that lacks good ventilation in the kitchen. There is a window next to the stove, but I want to avoid smoke when possible.

      2. Mark Bittman did a video that was on the NYT website the day the broiler article came out, and he demonstrated the technique with some big sea scallops. I felt like licking the monitor! I'm sure that any skillet-roasting recipe for fish could be adapted to the broiler - just remember that you're cooking both sides at once (provided that you do it right and preheat the pan thoroughly), so the ten-minute rule will be more of a FIVE-minute rule!

        1. A 500 deg oven with the cast iron skillet does a good job even without the broiler.

          If I recall correctly, gas broilers don't work that well, since it is hard to get a lot of radiant heat from a flame. But, it has been a while since I used a gas oven.


          1. while my cast iron skillet heating on top of the stove, i rub a salmon filet with a little olive oil and cracked pepper. when the skillet is screaming hot, i put the salmon in skin side down, and cook on high until the edges turn opaque. flip over, cover and turn off the heat. the fish absorbs the residual heat, but never drys out. and i've never had a problem with smoke.

            1. I've often just taken some good sushi grade tuna, covered in spices and thrown on the cast iron skillet. The key is to get the fish about an inch thick.

              1. pretty easy to make blackened tilapia with a cajun rub. it did smoke up my entire apartment for like an hour, but it wasn't that big of a deal.

                1. Update: Last night I cooked up some tilapia fillets by giving them a light coat of olive oil and a bottled lemon-ginger sauce (Olde Cape Cod brand, which I will not be using again), then I put them in a pre-heated cast-iron skillet and broiled for about 10 minutes. They were excellent, although we didn't like the lemon-ginger sauce at all. Thankfully, it didn't ruin the meal.

                  I like the idea of a cajun rub for next time - my girlfriend doesn't care for anything too spicy, so I'll try to avoid chili powder.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sjauletta

                    just make sure to turn the vent fan on and open a window beforehand.