Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible


Ragin’ Cajun Rub

Recipe from Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible Sauces, Rubs and Marinades, Bastes, Butters & Glazes

Consider the following rub, which was inspired by the Cajun spices used for pan-blackening. Cayenne and black pepper give it gumption, but there’s more to the rub than heat. You’ll need to know about one special ingredient here: filé powder, or ground dried sassafras leaves.


  • Yield: Makes 1 cup
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  • 1/4 cup coarse salt (kosher or sea)
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon filé powder
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground bay leaf

Step 1: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir or whisk to mix.

Step 2: Transfer to a jar, cover, and store away from heat and light. The rub will keep for several months.

Tips:

For a sweeter rub, add 1 teaspoon fennel seeds. Grind the seeds in a spice mill before adding them to the rub. This fennel variation goes particularly well with fish.

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