Blackened Tilapia with Secret Hobo Spices Recipe -
Blackened Tilapia with Secret Hobo Spices Recipe
  • READY IN 18 mins

Blackened Tilapia with Secret Hobo Spices

Recipe by  

"I found this recipe in the pocket of a sleeping hobo lying by the railroad tracks. Where a hobo gets Tilapia from I have no clue."

+ Recipe Box + Shopping List + Menu Print

Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 4 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    10 mins
  • COOK

    8 mins

    18 mins


  1. In a small bowl or jar with a lid, make the spice blend. Mix together the paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, white pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, oregano, thyme, celery seed and kosher salt. Coat the fish fillets with the spice mixture, and allow to sit at room temperature for no longer than 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a heavy skillet over high heat. Add oil, and heat until it is almost smoking. Place the fillets in the pan, and cook for about 3 minutes per side, or until fish is opaque and can be flaked with a fork. Remove from the pan, and place onto slices of white bread. Pour pan juices over them and squeeze lemon juice all over. Do not underestimate the white bread. It gets quite tasty soaking up all the juices.
Kitchen-Friendly View

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Feb 19, 2007

I think the "recipe" for the secret hobo spices was actually the ingredient label from a bottle of Astor Cajun Seasoning! (Just kidding!) But it is the exact same ingredients in case someone wants to make this and not buy all the spices. In their recipe though, they dip the fillets in melted butter, coat with the seasoning, and blacken in a hot iron skillet (without the oil or white bread). Either way it's very good. I served mine over a bed of brown rice made with chicken stock instead of water and added sautaed onions & mushrooms and frozen green peas. When served together it balances out the spiceness of the cajun seasonings perfectly!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jan 20, 2011

Make sure you salt to taste. I added the full amount and it was horribly salty. My husband and I agreed it was a great recipe minus the saltiness

Apr 06, 2007

Hmmm... and why were you picking the pockets of a sleeping hobo? That's sinking a little low, don'tcha think? If you roll him again, tell him we enjoyed his recipe. Didn't use the bread as I'm gluten intolerant, but the fish was very good.

Jul 28, 2008

You can actually buy blackening seasons (Prudhomme, sp?) is what we use...and we follow the directions on the bottle...We serve on a Keiser roll with the seasoned mayo (1/2 c sour cream, 1/2 c Mayo, 1 TBS chopped fresh cilantro, 1 tsp, fresh lemon juice, 1/2 tsp blackening season) which is something we just experimented with, and lettuce...of course the kids think it's best w/ fries and cole slaw...but I concede...I like the Tilapia on a nice bed of greens!!! :)

Jan 10, 2008

I really liked this recipe. It was super easy & a quick fix for a mid-week meal. And just as an FYI... Emril's Essence has many of the same spices listed here~ using that saves alot of time & money. It was a little bit salty - but still delicious. I served mine with a black bean salad. Thanks Hobo, for your secret spices!

Nov 04, 2006

This was delicious and very easy to make. We added a little bit of lemon onto the fish while it was cooking and served it over a bed of rice with steamed broccoli. the fish is spicy, but it's not too spicy with the rice to go with it. I did decrease the paprica by 1/3, per recommendations of other reviews and it was perfect. It is a little salty, still, so you may want to adjust the salt a bit.

Nov 06, 2008

This recipe is very similar to the famous one created by Chef Paul Prudhomme of New Orleans. I have made this with fresh Grouper many times and always used butter inplace of oil.Serve with a side dish of Cajun Potato Salad. Warning!!! Cook outside because of the INTENSE Smoke that it creates.Otherwise this is a GOOD Recipe.

Nov 10, 2005

My favorite tilapia recipe. Next time I'll cut down the paprika to 2 tbsp.


Rate This Recipe

Glad you liked it! Your friends will, too:


  • Calories
  • 245 kcal
  • 12%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 21.5 g
  • 7%
  • Cholesterol
  • 42 mg
  • 14%
  • Fat
  • 6.8 g
  • 10%
  • Fiber
  • 4.6 g
  • 19%
  • Protein
  • 26.8 g
  • 54%
  • Sodium
  • 1688 mg
  • 68%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

See More

About the Cook

Subscribe Today!

In Season

Not The Same Old Chicken
Not The Same Old Chicken

We have so many top-rated chicken recipes, you'll never run out of dinner ideas again.

Slow Cooker Time Savers
Slow Cooker Time Savers

Imagine dinner making itself in the slow cooker while you relax or do other things.

Subscribe Today! Only $7.99
Subscribe Today! Only $7.99

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for $7.99!

Related Videos

Pan-Seared Tilapia

Discover the delicious and easy way to prepare tilapia.

Baked Tilapia Parmesan

The whole family will love this crispy baked fish.

Lemon Garlic Tilapia

See how to make a mild baked fish that’s quick, healthy, and flavorful.

Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States