|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 38g||49%|
|Saturated Fat 5g||24%|
|Total Carbohydrate 34g||12%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||8%|
|Total Sugars 2g|
|Vitamin C 1mg||3%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Catfish is a popular dish down South, and for good reason. Although it can be prepared in a variety of ways, including grilled, frying it in a cornmeal coating is the most traditional. And delicious too. Many recipes for fried catfish exist, but there are very few that can beat a few crispy, hot catfish fillets in a cornmeal crust. Our classic recipe, Southern-style, will put dinner on your table in less than 20 minutes. You simply need to find the fillets, as the rest of the ingredients might already be in your pantry and fridge.
If you've been skipping catfish at the fish market, afraid of its muddy taste, don't turn it down again just yet. On the one hand, it is an affordable and nutritious fish, perfect to feed large families. On the other, the taste depends very much on where the fish fed and comes from. Not all catfish will have a muddy taste. Catfish is a bottom feeder, so it indeed eats dirt in the wild, but farmed catfish live in tanks without dirt, so farmed has a brighter flavor and it's a fantastic source of nutrition. Most of the farm-raised catfish in the United States comes from Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Packed with protein, catfish is also rich in selenium, vitamin B12, and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. A 3-ounce fillet of raw catfish has barely 100 calories, but 13 grams of protein.
Hush puppies, small onion-flavored cornmeal dumplings, are classic accompaniments for Southern-fried catfish. You can cook them simultaneously for a quick meal, but you are going to need a big frying pan. For a traditional fish fry, serve your fillets and dumplings along with tartar sauce, and coleslaw.
Click Play to See This Classic Southern-Fried Catfish Recipe Come Together
6 catfish fillets, 6 ounces each
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup cornmeal, preferably yellow
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons table salt
1 teaspoon ground paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup vegetable oil, for frying
Gather the ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 200 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place a rack in the pan.
Arrange the catfish in a wide, shallow bowl or pie plate. Pour the buttermilk over the fish.
Combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, paprika, cayenne, and garlic powder on a pie plate.
Take the fish out of the buttermilk and dredge the fish fillets in the flour mixture to coat thoroughly. Shake off excess flour mixture.
Heat up 1 inch of oil in a deep, heavy skillet or heavy Dutch oven over high heat.
The oil must be 350 F. Use a candy thermometer or drop a pinch of the flour mixture into the oil—if it bubbles and floats the oil is ready. Just be mindful of maintaining the oil temperature while cooking the fish. Don't overcrowd the pan, as doing so will lower the oil temperature.
Carefully place 2 to 3 fillets in the pan.
Cook for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until golden brown. If the oil isn't deep enough to cover the fish, turn the fillets carefully after about 3 minutes.
Remove the fish to the rack in the baking pan and place it in the oven while you cook another batch. Repeat until all of the fish fillets are cooked. Serve hot with your favorite sides.
Muddy Taste in Wild-Caught Catfish?
Getting rid of the muddy taste in catfish is just a matter of time. You have two choices:
- Dissolve half a teaspoon of baking soda per quart of water. Submerge your fillets in the mixture and allow them to soak for 30 to 45 minutes in the fridge. Drain well, rinse, and pat dry with paper towels before proceeding with the recipe.
- Cover the catfish fillets in buttermilk, place in the fridge, covered, for one hour. Drain, rinse, and pat dry with paper towels before soaking it again in the clean and unused buttermilk our recipe calls for.
What's the Best Oil for Frying Catfish?
Any vegetable oil will do a great job, but peanut oil is recommended because it has a high smoking point and gives the fish a tasty, nutty flavor. The most important thing when frying fish is to keep the temperature steady to guarantee a crispy crust. Oil at lower temperatures than 350 F will yield soggy and wet fillets.
Catfish, Raw. FoodData Central. United Stated Department of Agriculture.