Seasoning for Successful Fish

  • By: Jack Mancuso

Seasoning for Successful Fish - Cuso Cuts


Fish are rather unique in the culinary world in that there’s a wide range of types, all of which have distinctive flavors. This versatility brings joy to the culinarian soul.

  • Mild fish: Halibut, cod, grouper, tilapia, often buttery with a delicate sweetness
  • Medium-flavored fish: Mahi Mahi and tuna. A little more potent. Flavor comes through even with slightly bolder spices.
  • Strong: These are higher in fat. Salmon, herring, and mackerel. Heart Healthy.

Swimmingly Awesome Uses for Fish

Like all proteins, there are ways of transforming your fish or using up leftovers. 


Chimichurri trout 

Crispy bass filets


Fish cakes

Fish Rillettes

Fish salad for a dip

Pasta dishes

Poached carp for stir fry



Seafood chowder

Stuffed red snapper

Summer rolls




Seasonings for Successful Fish

Basil: Fish love lemon, and lemon loves basil. It’s a perfect paring. Basil is slightly sweet with citrus notes. Tasty on pan-seared fish. Cuso’s Grass Seasoning includes basil.

Cayenne: While hot, cayenne has a fruity edge. It brightens seafood as part of sauces and rubs. Other types of chilies appear in our rubs, too, including Cuso Seasonings that include types of chili peppers include Hot Honey, Spicy Garlic Buffalo, Cuso’s Dirt ®, Maple Bourbon, Dust, Grass, Tequila Lime Habanero. 

Garlic powder or granules: Garlic powder is less bold compared to fresh cloves. Add it to breading for your fish, or sprinkle it while broiling. Cuso Seasonings that include garlic include Cuso’s Dirt ®, Spicy Garlic Buffalo, Hot Honey, Maple Bourbon, Dust, Gravel, Tequila Lime Habanero, and Lemon Pepper. Looking for GARLIC? Try the Spicy Garlic Buffalo blend. 

Onion powder or granules: Onion becomes a background flavor on which you can easily build. Go easy with onion with delicate fish. Great in tartar sauce. Cuso Seasonings that include onion are: Hot Honey, Dust, Lemon Pepper, Tequila Lime Habanero, and Maple Bourbon. When you want onion forward, use the Tequila Lime Habanero Seasoning.

Oregano: A peppery-tasting fish, but use sparingly. Excellent in shrimp scampi and with a spice mixture on salmon. Use Cuso’s Grass (with oregano) Seasoning for a Mediterranean flair. 

Paprika: Paprika is earthy with a hint of spice. Snapper and halibut both benefit from paprika (smoked). Cuso Spices that include paprika are Cuso’s Dirt® Seasoning, Spicy Garlic Buffalo, Dust, and  Hot Honey.

Rosemary: Rosemary has lemon notes, perfect for seafood. It is also a bold flavor, so use it with restraint. Rosemary is an ingredient in Cuso’s Dirt® Seasoning, and in Cuso’s Grass Seasoning. Mix the two together for a compound butter. 

Salt (Sea, Himalayan, Pink, etc): Salt brings out the flavors in food that might otherwise hide. It makes a dish more distinctive. Great for grouper and swordfish. Cuso Seasonings with salt are Grass, Hot Honey, Lemon Pepper, Spicy Garlic Buffalo, Cuso’s Dirt ®, Maple BourbonDust, Tequila Lime Habanero, and Gravel

Thyme: Thyme is a bit like rosemary but gentler. Perfect for whole fish combined with lemon.  Cuso’s Dirt® Seasoning and in Cuso’s Grass Seasoning both have thyme.

Decisions, Decisions

Unless there’s a powerful theme running through a meal, you’d be hard-pressed to find fish recipes with just one or two seasonings. Sometimes it’s hard to choose. We can help with this. You have several options. 

Some Side Dishes for Fish

Baby potatoes (seasoned)

Bok Choi with garlic-basil sauce

Classic coleslaw

Lemon risotto

Pearl couscous with tomato

Sugar snap peas and baby sweet peppers (blistered)

Some Drinks that Pair with Fish

American Lager

Cucumber coolers

Cuso's Key Lime Habanero Margarita

Fresh Squeezed Lemonade

Peach sangria

Pinot Noir

Links to Fish Recipes

Catch and Cook

Dry Age Fish Experiment

Honey Smoked Salmon

Ice Fishing Tacos

Salmon Burnt Ends

Sushi BLT

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published