I am not a fan of strong-tasting fish and had never tried catfish before. I was so pleasantly surprised to find out catfish is a delicious, mild-tasting, and flaky fish. And this his might be the best-fried catfish recipe because even a skeptic like me loved it.
Southern-fried catfish sounded intimidating, to be honest, and I had never tried any catfish recipes before, but from now on, it’s going to be on my menu list quite often. If you have never tried catfish, you’re missing out. It’s amazing!
How To Fry Catfish?
This is such an easy process. Batter, marinate, bread and fry. This is how we do it:
- Make the batter by mixing together the buttermilk, egg, mustard, and hot sauce in a medium-sized bowl.
- Add the catfish filets to the bowl and make sure they are well coated with the batter. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 mins.
- In a shallow dish, mix together the cornmeal, salt, paprika, dill, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and black pepper until well combined.
- Take each filet out of the batter, remove the excess, and place it in the cornmeal mixture. Cover both sides well.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, remove any excess cornmeal from the filets and fry for 3 minutes on each side. Serve hot.
- You can change the flavor of your fried fish by doing two things. Change the batter or change the breading.
- Try adding different ingredients to the batter like beer, milk, or seltzer water. Liquids with gas make very light and airy batters.
- The breading can be changed using flour or breadcrumbs (panko breadcrumbs are amazing) instead of cornmeal. Try using different spices as well. Play around with anything you have at home.
Can You Store and Reheat Fried Catfish?
You can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To reheat, you can use several methods.
- Oven: preheat the oven to 350 F and place the fish on a baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes or until heated through. Be careful not to burn it.
- On the stovetop: heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet. Once the oil is hot, add the fish and give it a quick fry on both sides until it is hot on the inside.
- Broiler: you can also use your toaster oven to reheat fish. Place it on the baking sheet of your toaster oven lined with foil. Spray it with a little cooking spray on both sides and broil for 2-3 minutes. Make sure it doesn’t burn.
I wouldn’t recommend reheating it using the microwave if you want crispy results.
Southern Fried Catfish
- 4 catfish filets
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon brown mustard
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoons paprika
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon dill
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoons black pepper
- Vegetable oil for frying
- In a large bowl, prepare the batter by combining the buttermilk, egg, mustard, and hot sauce.
- Place the catfish filets in the buttermilk mixture and marinate for 30 minutes.
- In a shallow dish, mix together the cornmeal, salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, dill, garlic powder, and black pepper.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove each filet from the marinade and shake off any excess. Coat both sides with the cornmeal mixture. Shake off excess cornmeal and fry for 3 minutes on each side.