Fried Catfish is a traditional southern recipe that I have learned to love. A cornmeal breading fried to a perfect golden brown make this recipe a real treat.
This post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclaimer here.
Full Recipe Ingredients/Instructions are available in the
recipe card at the bottom of the post.
You can find important tips/tricks in the
I have been craving Catfish for a whole week. I can’t explain why because I’m not the biggest fan of Catfish. I’m also not the biggest fan of fried foods. Either way, I was determined to buy and fry some Catfish.
My first task was to actually find Catfish. First, I strolled through the aisles of my local supermarket expecting to find either frozen or fresh Catfish. I found none. I do wonder why Catfish isn’t as popular as other brands of fish. Then again, Catfish are ugly so that may explain it. I then hopped over to my local Walmart (since Walmart has everything) in hopes of finding some frozen Catfish fillets. I found some!!! Right in the frozen section next to the Tilapia!!! I chose not to buy it. It was at that moment I decided maybe I should try and buy fresh Catfish. I live in a city with ample fresh fish markets. So after the realization that I wasted my time and gas travelling to the supermarket and Walmart, I headed over to my closest local fresh fish market. This is where I purchased my Catfish. They skinned it, filleted it, and boned it while I sat in the market embracing the smell of fresh fish.
Once I made it home, I began the process of prepping my Catfish. First, I soaked it in milk. Why? Because the internet told me so, that’s why.
Then, I covered it and slipped them in the refrigerator around noon.
When dinner time rolled around (7pm in our house), the fun started. First, I prepped my deep fryer. Oh my deep fryer. I love it. It’s one of those fancy ones I invested in that drains the oil once frying is done. I poured the oil in my deep fryer and let that oil reach to around 350 degrees. My fancy deep fryer indicates when my oil is ready (Another reason I love my fancy deep fryer.)
Then I pre-heated my oven to 225 degrees. You will see why later.
While my deep fryer was getting hot, I prepared my Catfish making station. In one dish, I poured about 1/2 cup of Hot Sauce (I use Franks).
Next, I combined my breading mixture in a shallow dish; 3/4 cups very fine cornmeal, 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning, and 1/2 tsp paprika. After mixing, it looked like this.
Then I was ready to fry. I like to place my deep fryer basket in the oil before I place my food in. A trick I learned from my hubby. That way your food won’t stick to the basket.
I took my catfish fillets out of the milk. Then I drank the milk because I was thirsty. Jokes!!!! I threw the milk away. THROW THE MILK AWAY. Don’t drink it, don’t eat a bowl of cereal with it, throw it out, it’s just nasty to drink fish milk.
Then I dipped my fillets in the hot sauce, coating both sides. Then I dipped fillets in breading mixture, coating both sides, and then slowly place them in the fryer. I was able to fit about 2 fillets in the fryer at a time.
I fried them fillets for about four minutes, until they were golden brown and floating nicely at the top.
I removed the catfish and placed them on a baking sheet and placed them in my pre-heated oven to keep them nice, warm, and crunchy. I then repeated with other pieces.
And then there was this
Fried Catfish…Yummy Yums
- 1 lb Catfish filleted with skin removed
- 1.5 cups milk
- ½ cup hot sauce
- ¾ cup very fine cornmeal
- ½ cup flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- oil for deep frying
- Soak catfish in milk for at least an hour.
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- Heat oil in a deep fryer, enough to cover the fish or whatever your deep fryer suggest, to 350 degrees.
- Place hot sauce in shallow dish.
- In another shallow dish, combine cornmeal, flour, salt, black pepper, old bay seasoning, and paprika.
- Remove catfish from milk and coat in hot sauce. Then coat fish in breading mixture and fry to golden brown, about 4 minutes. Fry 2 fillets at a time.
- Place fillets in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining pieces.
Friday 15th of January 2021
What's the name of your deep fryer?
Monday 18th of January 2021
hi Cecilia, I no longer have a deep fryer. I think this one was a T-fal self-cleaning deep fryer.
Sunday 24th of November 2019
What temp and time do you use for air-fried only catfish, cooked whole or cut in half crossways. No deep-frying used.
Monday 25th of November 2019
Hi Teresa, I don't have catfish times written down but this recipe uses half catfish in the air fryer. She uses the same method I do for cooking fish in the air fryer. https://thisoldgal.com/air-fryer-southern-fried-catfish/
Saturday 27th of July 2019
Hi Tanya, Just found you and wondering what was that wonderful deep fryer you were cooking the Catfish in. I m going to purchase a aire fryer soon though.
Saturday 27th of July 2019
Hi Dell, That deep fryer was a T-fAl that had an oil filtration system. I loved it...but it died on me after a year. Then I got into air frying lol. Here's an affiliate link to it on Amazon. https://amzn.to/2SK0Sdh
Thursday 13th of December 2018
Can this catfish reipe be used in a air fryer?
Saturday 22nd of December 2018
Yes, it sure can.
Wednesday 16th of March 2016
Your food adventures look so fun and delicious! Plus, you're hilarious. Thanks for reminding us all to throw away the fish milk! ??
Wednesday 16th of March 2016
Thank you Jessica! I'm looking forward to sharing more recipes and kitchen stories.