Herb Baked Tautog (Blackfish)

My hubby went offshore diving with some friends yesterday & brought home the booty (fresh fish, that is  :-)).  All the guys get their spear guns & shoot at {legal} fish underwater.  It makes him happy, I get some “me time”, & the freshest seafood anyone could ask for.  It’s a “win-win” situation!

Herb Baked Tautog

Since I never know what he’s going to bring home, as long as I have some butter & fresh herbs on hand, I’m “in the clear”.  This recipe is so simple & it doesn’t overpower the fresh taste of the fish.

Tautog (Tog) Fish

Tautog are also called blackfish, and are bottom feeders mostly found around rocks and wrecks.

Blackfish Filets

Here are some of the pretty filets before I added the butter herb mixture.  Tautog are a white flaky fish that have a sweetness to them.  I’ve read that they are sometimes referred to as “the poor man’s lobster”, but I beg to differ.  Tautog is a very good fish, but doesn’t remind me of lobster.

Herb Baked Tautog

This recipe is so super simple.  Place the fish filets in a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.  Top with butter that has been melted with fresh herbs, garlic & lemon juice.  Add fresh sliced scallions, Old Bay Seasoning & fresh cracked pepper.  Bake (uncovered) about 12 minutes, or until fish is cooked & flaky.  Serve with Carolina Cole Slaw & baked beans…(that’s how we rolled, anyway!).

You can use just about any fish filet with this recipe; embrace the simplicity & enjoy the flavors of the sea.  :-)

Herb Baked Tautog Fish
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 filets
  • 4 tautog filets (about 2 pounds), or any white flaky fish
  • ¼ cup sliced scallions (green onions) with tops (about 1)
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • Fresh cracked pepper, to taste
For the Herb Butter:
  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped dill
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Over medium heat in a small saucepan, melt butter. Add remaining ingredients for herb butter and stir to combine.
  3. Place filets in a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
  4. Pour herb butter mixture over fish filets. Sprinkle with Old Bay & fresh cracked pepper. Top with sliced scallions.
  5. Bake (uncovered) for 10-15 minutes, or until fish are cooked & flaky.


  1. says

    My 8yo son caught a tautog while fishing with his dad & brother today.

    I had never heard of tautog or blackfish before, so I started researching recipes as soon as I got a text from my husband.

    I came across your recipe, which I’m going to use tonight, but while doing a little more surfing around I came across your recipe on KeyIngredient.com – http://www.keyingredient.com/recipes/254519981/tautog-blackfish-baked-in-herbed-butter. It was posted by a Jim M, and it uses one of your photos from this post. As a fellow blogger, I thought I’d let you know in case this use of your content & photography is unauthorized.

    P.S. I am going to write about post about their annual fishing trip and our tautog supper. Would you mind if I included your recipe, and possibly one of your photos – with appropriate credit to you and linking to your site, of course.

  2. The Blond Cook says

    Hi Lollie! Congrats on your son’s catch! No, I had no idea about the photo without a link back on keyingredient.com… thanks for the heads-up. I’d be honored to be a part of your post about their fishing trip, thank you. I hope you enjoy your seafood meal tonight!

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