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.
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
- 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.