Sheepshead Recipe

Photo from Chef Keema Johnson

Originally Posted On:

Notes from Chef Keema: I thought it would be really fun to break out the cast iron, and go to work on this traditionally fried or grilled fish. I know that Sheepshead is Captain Rick’s favorite fish to eat, so I decided to go for a fresh, light, early summer treat. As always, Keep it Tasteful!


Blackened Sheepshead with Wilted Arugula Salad

Things to Gather Up and Prepare:

  • 1 tablespoon dark chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Cayenne Pepper (to taste)
    • 2 filets of Sheepshead, skin on
    • 3 tablespoons ghee (or clarified butter);
    • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
    • Yuzu Juice (or combine the juice of 1 lemon and 1 lime)
    • Arugula
    • Corn on the Cob (charred over open flame or in cast iron)
    • Baby Radish
    • Red Onion
    • Parmesan Cheese (if desired)


Now…  Let’s Get Cooking

    • Combine salt and other dry spices (first 6 ingredients) into a seasoning mixture
    • Score the skin and season fish on both sides of the fillet (save extra seasoning, if any, for other uses)
    • In a non-stick skillet, combine 2 tablespoons of ghee (or clarified butter) and 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, and place over medium heat
    • Add the fish skin side down, and sear until skin is a beautiful bronze color and crispy (this takes approximately 3 minutes), then flip the fillet
    • After 2 minutes add the last tablespoon of ghee and a teaspoon of yuzu juice
    • Carefully allow the fish to cook through, keeping in mind that overcooking may dry the fish out
    • Remove fillets from pan and set aside to cool slightly


For the salad:

    • Rinse and fully dry all veggies
    • Char the corn on the cob over open flame, or in a hot cast iron skillet; carefully cut kernels off the cob with sharp knife (you do not want the corn torn from the cob, as the kernel cause a poor texture)
    • Quarter baby radish.
    • Thinly slice red onion
    • Place the salad mix into the still hot, emptied fish pan for about 30 seconds.


Now…  The Plate Up:

  • Add your wilted salad to your oval shaped, concave dish of choice
  • Top with Sheepshead fillets (crispy, bronze skin side up)
  • Drizzle any remaining Yuzu juice from the pan over your fish (slightly warmed olive oil also works nicely)
  • If you really want to jazz it up, grate fresh Parmesan cheese over the dish
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