Master Platers: Blackened Tilapia & Crawfish “Mini Burger”

With Quanye Sparks of Boutique Burger Bar


  • two 6-oz tilapia fillets
  • blackening seasoning: (1 1/2 tsp of each)
    • cayenne pepper
    • paprika
    • smoked paprika
    • garlic powder
    • onion powder
    • ground black pepper
    • ground chipotle pepper
    • ground thyme
    • ground oregano
    • ground red pepper
    • brown sugar
    • ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp olive oil for frying



  • Combine and mix all the blackening seasonings and coat the fish liberally on both sides.
  • Let the fish sit for 5 to 10 minutes at room temperature.
  • Over medium-high heat, add olive oil to a nonstick frying pan and cook the fish for 3 minutes on each side.
  • Remove the fish and set it aside to rest for 7–8 minutes.
  • Once the fish is rested, rough chop the fillets and add to the burger mixture.


  • chopped blackened tilapia
  • 5 oz crawfish meat
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chopped green pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chopped red onion
  • 1 tsp mustard juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp salt splash of hot sauce splash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp chopped green onion
  • 3 tbsp olive oil for frying
  • 8 slider-size potato rolls
  • 2 tbsp diced tomato
  • 1 bushel of watercress spicy remoulade or spicy mayo


  • In a bowl, combine the tilapia, crawfish, mayo, brown rice, celery, green pepper, red onion, mustard, lemon juice, salt, hot sauce, Worcestershire, parsley, half of the breadcrumbs, and half of the green onions. Mix all the ingredients with your hands and form into a large ball. Refrigerate for one hour.
  • Form the burger mixture into 6–8 slightly larger than golf ball–sized balls and cover each with the remaining breadcrumbs. Gently flatten each ball into a slider-sized patty. Over mediumhigh heat, add the olive oil to a nonstick frying pan and cook each patty for 3–4 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
  • Cut the potato rolls in half and toast them. To make the burgers, add the watercress, burger, and spicy remoulade and garnish with diced tomato and the remaining green onions.

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