Pan Fried Catfish

Fried catfish
Anthony Saint James/Getty Images
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
734 Calories
37g Fat
50g Carbs
49g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 734
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 37g 47%
Saturated Fat 6g 28%
Cholesterol 152mg 51%
Sodium 988mg 43%
Total Carbohydrate 50g 18%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 49g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 99mg 8%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 1078mg 23%
*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.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This is a simple and delicious way to cook catfish, and it works as well over a campfire as it does on the stovetop burner. Feel free to use a seasoning salt blend or Southwest seasoning instead of Creole or Cajun seasoning.

The typical Southern catfish restaurant offers all kinds of fried dishes, but fried catfish is always the star. Fried dill pickles, fried okra, green tomatoes, and jalapeno peppers are commonly found on menus. The fried catfish—and plenty of it—is usually served as a complete dinner with slaw, hush puppies, and French fries. Choose a creamy coleslaw or a lighter slaw, like this Carolina slaw or kale and cabbage slaw.


  • 3 cups canola oil, or as needed to reach 1/4-inch depth

  • 4 (8-ounce) catfish fillets

  • 1 teaspoon Creole or Cajun seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup buttermilk

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Pour about 1/4-inch of canola oil in a large heavy-duty skillet. Place over medium heat and heat until shimmering.

  3. Sprinkle the fish fillets lightly with Creole seasoning, salt, and pepper.

  4. In a shallow bowl, combine the cornmeal and flour. Pour the buttermilk into another shallow bowl.

  5. Dip the fish into the buttermilk to coat, then coat with the cornmeal mixture.

  6. Arrange carefully in the skillet, in batches if necessary, and cook on low heat for about 3 to 4 minutes, until the bottom side is browned. Turn carefully and continue cooking until browned on the other side. Place on paper towels to drain.

  7. Serve with tartar sauce and hush puppies, along with coleslaw and fries. Or, try it with this delicious Remoulade Sauce.

Kitchen Notes

While catfish is traditional for a Southern fish fry, any firm and mild white fish will suffice. Flounder, bass, haddock, and cod are all good alternatives.