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Wulf’s Kitchen: Smoky Bluefish Pâté (Without the Smoker!)

Serves: 12 or more as an appetizer (leftovers will keep up to 3 days in the fridge or can be frozen)
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty: Easy

Nearly every recipe for bluefish pâté calls for getting out a smoker, but we know not everyone has one. We skipped the fuss and baked the bluefish before turning it into a creamy pâté. You still get the smoky flavor from smoked paprika and our Sumac & Cumin spice blend. You can make this pâté in the food processor, but the cooked bluefish breaks up easily with a fork. We recommend mixing it by hand, as bluefish can get over-processed easily, and then you lose the pieces of fish that make the pâté distinct.  


You will find it difficult to resist eating this whole bowl in one sitting, but if you have leftovers, we think they’d make a great sandwich. Drawing inspiration from the Vietnamese Bahn-mi, you could spread leftovers on a baguette with spicy pickles and cilantro.  


For the Fish

  • 1 pound bluefish fillets
  • 1 tablespoon Wulf's Sumac & Cumin spice blend

For the Pâté

  • All the cooked bluefish, skin discarded
  • 8-ounce block cream cheese, softened
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced (reserve a little zest for garnish)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons hot sauce (we used Poor Devil Pepper Co. Smoke Shifter)
  • ½ cup red onion, very finely diced
  • ¼ cup jarred roasted red pepper, diced
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

To Serve

  • Reserved lemon zest
  • Thinly sliced scallions
  • Toasted baguette or crackers


For the Fish:


Preheat oven to 425° F. Lay bluefish skin-side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle fish with the Sumac & Cumin spice blend. Our spice blends contain salt, so you do not need additional salt for the fish.


Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, until just cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool while you start working on the pâté.


Once cool, remove fish from the skin (it will peel away easily) and transfer to a medium bowl. Use a fork to break up the fish into flakes.

For the Pâté:


In a large bowl, add the cream cheese, lemon juice, and most of the lemon zest. Use a wooden spoon to beat the cream cheese until it is light and smooth. Mix in the smoked paprika and hot sauce.


Add the flaked bluefish to the bowl and mix to combine. Then add in the red onion, roasted red peppers, and salt. Adjust seasoning to taste. Transfer a serving bowl. Consume immediately or chill until ready to serve.

To Serve


Garnish pâté with reserved lemon zest and scallions. Serve with toasted baguette or your favorite crackers.