Southern Fried Catfish

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“Fried catfish is a Southern tradition, along with buttermilk hush puppies and buttermilk coleslaw. Try these traditional foods together.”
I personally hate fish of any kind but my boyfriend is a huge fried catfish fan. He said it was the best fried catfish he has ever had! The trick is after you bread the fish let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes. This way you wwill not have problems with the breading falling off!

Fried cat fish conjures thoughts of finger-licking goodness and crispy crunch in every bite. When I bought these fish fillets at the market my intention was to bake them with garlic and salt.But I would not stop thinking about fried fish, buckets of fish with hush puppies, dipped in tartar sauce… that did it for me – sometimes nothing can satisfy that desire. Catfish is a popular dish down South, and for good reason. Most of the farm-raised catfish in the United States comes from Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. And although it can be prepared in a variety of ways, frying in a cornmeal coating is the most traditional. You will find fried catfish at the local fish fry, at that hidden fish shack, and even in a few skillets riverside after reeling one in. There is no logical explanation why the thought of frying catfish makes me feel like I’ve just stepped onto the set of an old TV show about a hillbilly family that moved to Beverly Hills – go figure. I liked the show. Although I don’t remember Granny “fryin up a mess o’ catfish”, she probably did. It’s as Southern as fried chicken, especially in the Deep South, and a piece of fried heaven when done right. This authentic recipe, so perfectly seasoned and deep fried to golden perfection for a light, crispy outside and juicy, tender inside, will make you realize how much you’ve been missing out. Because it’s really darn good!

INGREDIENTS
FOR FISH
2 c. buttermilk
1 tbsp. hot sauce, plus more for serving
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 lb. catfish fillets
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 lemon, sliced into wedges

FOR DREDGING
1 1/2 c. yellow cornmeal
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
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DIRECTIONS
In a large bowl or Ziplock bag, combine buttermilk, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Add catfish. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 8 hours.
In a large shallow bowl, whisk to combine cornmeal, flour, salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Remove one catfish fillet from buttermilk mixture and lightly shake to remove excess buttermilk. Dredge in cornmeal mixture and place on a baking sheet or large plate. Repeat until all catfish is dredged.
Fill a large pot or Dutch oven halfway with vegetable oil. Heat over medium until oil reaches 350°, then fry catfish in batches until golden brown, about 5 to 6 minutes per batch. Remove to a paper towel–lined plate and season with salt immediately. Serve with hot sauce and lemon slices.

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