Basic Deep Fried Catfish Fillets With Hush Puppies

Catfish and hush puppies
dirkr / Getty Images
Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 4 servings

 This catfish recipe uses a simple cornmeal coating. The fish is deep fried to perfection and served along with the optional hush puppies. 

The fried fish is kept warm in a 200 F oven while the hush puppies are fried. 


  • For the Catfish Fillets
  • 3 to 4 catfish fillets (about 1 to 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Corn oil for deep-frying
  • For the Hush Puppies
  • 1 cup self-rising cornmeal mix
  • 1/2 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 large egg (slightly beaten)
  • 1 cup buttermilk (approximate)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons green onion (finely chopped)
  • Dash of black pepper

Steps to Make It


  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place a rack in a rimmed baking sheet. Heat the oven to 200 F. Place a rack in a rimmed baking sheet.

  3. Cut each catfish fillet in half crosswise.

  4. Combine the cornmeal, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish.

  5. Dredge the fish fillets in the cornmeal, patting to make the cornmeal cling to the fillets.

  6. Drop the fillets in deep hot oil at about 370 F. Cook 5 to 10 minutes or until crisp and brown.

  7. Remove to the rack in the baking pan and place in the preheated oven to keep warm while you fry the remaining catfish and the hush puppies.

Hush Puppies

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of self-rising cornmeal mix with the self-rising flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and sugar. Add the beaten egg and enough buttermilk to make a thick batter. We start with about 3/4 cup. The batter should drop slowly but easily from a spoon.

  3. Add the green onion and freshly ground black pepper to the batter. 

  4. Drop into the hot fat (see above) and fry for about 2 to 3 minutes, turning frequently or until golden brown.

  5. Drain on paper towels and keep warm with the catfish while you finish frying the remaining hush puppies.