Classic Fried Catfish

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For an extra-crispy crust, use stone-ground yellow cornmeal, if available.


  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 12 catfish fillets (about 3 3/4 pounds)
  • Vegetable oil


Cook Time:
Prep Time:

  1. Combine first 4 ingredients and 2 teaspoons salt in a large shallow dish. Sprinkle catfish fillets evenly with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and dredge in cornmeal mixture, coating evenly.
  2. Pour vegetable oil to a depth of 2 inches into a Dutch oven; heat to 350°. Fry fillets, in batches, 5 to 6 minutes or until golden; drain on paper towels.
  3. Note: For a quick weeknight version, skip the deep fryer. Cook catfish in 2 tablespoons hot oil, per batch, in a nonstick skillet 5 minutes on each side.
Southern Living Our Readers' Top-Rated Recipes,
March 2006