Southern Fried Catfish is delicious and easy to make and this restaurant-quality recipe won’t disappoint! catfish filets, gently breaded in a Southern seasoned cheese mix and fried to perfection! Ready in less than 25-minutes!
Why you’ll gonna fall in love with this catfish recipe!
So Crispy and more flavorful – this restaurant recipe has a great delicious flavor and the cornmeal coating turns out crunchy and delicious!
Quick – each fish filet only takes about 5-minutes to fry
Restaurant quality –fried catfish filets that really have flavor
Tartar sauce recipe added– whip this up while the fish is soaking
Here’s what you’ll need:
Catfish filets, buttermilk, cornmeal, frying oil, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper
Southern-fried whiting fish is so underrated. It’s like everyone forgot about it. I will never forget it. I can’t forget anything I grew up eating. Heirloom recipes make me feel some kind of way. I love them. And eating crispy pan-fried fish brings back so many childhood memories.
Many people are unfamiliar with whiting fish. But it’s very popular in African American homes. It has a mild fish and sweet flavor. So if you don’t care for fishy tasting fish then you will enjoy this whiting recipe.
Catfish Coating Ingredients
4 filets catfish a little over a pound,
1 cups oil vegetable, canola, or peanut
2 cups cornmeal yellow
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper (red pepper, ground)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Tartar Sauce Ingredients
1 cup mayonnaise
2½ tablespoons relish, (dill or sweet); squeezed in a paper towel
¼ teaspoon onion
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vinegar or lemon
HAVE YOU EVER TRIED THIS RESTAURANT QUALITY FRIED CATFISH, TRY IT NOW, FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS IN THE NEXT PAGE
Catfish Filet Preparation
1/ Pat fillets with a paper towel
2/ In a wide baking dish or plastic storage bag, pour in the buttermilk
3/ put filets in buttermilk; coat each side then, lightly season filets with salt and pepper 4/ Refrigerate filets for about 15 minutes
5/ Meanwhile, prepare tartar sauce
6/ After the tartar sauce is made, cover and cook the fish
1/ In a wide bowl, join cornmeal, salt, pepper, and cayenne; mix with a fork till blended
2/ Using a cast-iron, or heavy bottom skillet, spill oil into skillet and heat to medium;
3/ While oil is warming, get a filet directly from the buttermilk and put it in the cornmeal; beat the cornmeal on the filet; coat it all over, twice; repeat with remaining filets
4/ Check the skillet; the oil wants to be around 312 – 370ºF; you can spray several pieces of cornmeal in the oil to see if it sizzles; if it does the noise, the oil is ready
5/ Cooking in batches of two filets, put them in the hot oil; DO NOT MOVE THE FILETS till they’ve cooked for 2 ½ – 3 minutes on one side
6/ After 2 -3 minutes, use a fork and flip the fish over and cook for an additional 3 minutes
7/ Transfer filets from oil and put on a paper towel
8/ Repeat till all filets are cooked and drained
9/ place filets and serve with lemon and tartar sauce
Tartar Sauce Preparation
In a small pot, combine all ingredients; refrigerate until ready to serve
Why do I want to soak the catfish in buttermilk?
Soaking fish in buttermilk is a technique for minimizing the “fishy” smell. Catfish are bottom-feeders, signifying they swim on the bottom of the lake or reservoir floor.
It is believed that soaking the filet in buttermilk decreases the “muddy” flavor…there’s a bit of dispute about this, but it is advised for this recipe.
EXPERTS TIPS FOR YOU IN THE NEXT PAGE TO AVOID BURNING YOUR FISH
Expert Tips for the fried catfish
Frying catfish isn’t hard, but needs a little practice and expertise. Here are tips to help your catfish turn out excellent!
Type of frying pan:
I suggest using a cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven so when you flip the catfish filet, it doesn’t splatter all over.
Type of oil:
This is essential and key to this recipe. Use a large-heat oil: either canola, vegetable, grapeseed, or peanut.
Olive oil is not advised because it has a low vapor point and burns at high temperatures.
This is the usual common challenge for homemade fried fish. For restaurant-quality fried catfish at home, the oil has to be hot sufficient, but not quite to the smoking point. Restaurants fry at 370ºF, but that’s too hot for me, so at home, I fry fish around 300-315ºF
The safest way to determine if it’s hot enough for frying is to use a regular thermometer
A different good way to determine if it’s is hot enough (or too hot) is to sprinkle a little cornmeal in it. If it’s noise, it’s hot enough. If it doesn’t noise, raise the temperature and re-test.
CATFISH FRYING TIPS
-Fry the catfish filets in groups, usually one or two filets at a time.
-Once the filet fish put in the pan DON’T TOUCH IT for at least 3 minutes. As tempting as it may be to turn it–don’t. Three minutes leaves the bottom side of the filet to cook and become firm. Once the base is a bright golden brown, flip the filet.
-After flipping the filet, cook it for another 3 minutes… again, DON’T TOUCH IT.
-Once both surfaces are crisp, if you prefer a darker crust, then gently flip the filet till it is the desired color.
-Put cooked fillets on a paper towel to drain, then put them in a 200ºF oven -uncovered. (When wrapped with foil, they get soft and all your patience is in vain.)
-The first group always turns out lighter than the others because the oil is fresh. If the darker color bothers you, start over with new oil for each batch