Fried catfish is a popular dish in southern cuisine that consists of catfish fillets that are coated in seasoned cornmeal and then deep-fried until crispy and golden brown. Catfish is a freshwater fish that is found in many rivers and lakes throughout the southern United States, and is a popular ingredient in southern cooking.
To prepare fried catfish, catfish fillets are first seasoned with salt, pepper, and other seasonings, then dredged in a mixture of cornmeal and flour. The fillets are then deep-fried in hot oil until the coating is crispy and the fish is cooked through.
Fried catfish is typically served as a main dish, often accompanied by sides such as coleslaw, hush puppies, and french fries. Some recipes also call for the addition of spices such as cayenne pepper or paprika to the cornmeal mixture to give the dish a bit of extra heat and flavor.
Fried catfish is a beloved comfort food in the southern United States and is often served at family gatherings, fish fries, and other social events. It can also be found on the menus of many southern-style restaurants, where it is a popular dish among locals and visitors alike.
PREPARATION TIME: 30 minutes
- 4 large catfish fillets (about 1 lb.)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Vegetable oil for frying
- In a shallow dish, mix together the flour, paprika, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.
- Pour the buttermilk into another shallow dish.
- Dip each catfish fillet into the buttermilk, then coat it evenly with the flour mixture.
- In a large, deep skillet, heat about 1/2 inch of vegetable oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F.
- Place the coated catfish fillets into the hot oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Fry for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crispy.
- Remove the fried catfish from the pan and place it on a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil.
- Serve hot with your favorite sides and condiments.
SERVING SUGGESTIONS OR ADDITIONAL TIPS:
- Serve the fried catfish with coleslaw, hush puppies, and tartar sauce for a classic Southern-style meal.
- You can also try topping the catfish with a squeeze of lemon juice for a touch of brightness.
- If you prefer a milder flavor, use a lower amount of cayenne pepper or omit it entirely.