Restaurant-Quality Fried Catfish


Catfish Coating Ingredients
4 filets catfish a little over a pound, total
1½ cups oil vegetable, canola or peanut (you may need more or less; depends on how deep your skillet is)
2 cups cornmeal yellow, not self-rising
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


Catfish Filet Preparation
Pat filets with paper towel
4 filets catfish
Place fish in a large baking dish or plastic storage bag, pour in buttermilk; coat well; allow to sit for 10-minutes in refrigerator
1 cup buttermilk
three step visual instruction
Meanwhile, make tartar sauce; After the tartar sauce is made, coat and cook the fish
Coating Preparation
In a large bowl, add cornmeal, salt, pepper and cayenne; stir with fork till blended
2 cups cornmeal, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
Using a cast-iron, or heavy bottom skillet, pour oil into skillet and heat to medium;
1½ cups oil
While oil is heating, take a filet directly from the buttermilk and place it in the cornmeal; pat the cornmeal on the filet; coat it all over, twice; repeat with remaining filets
Three catfish filets in frying oil
Check your skillet; the oil needs to be around 312 – 350ºF; you can sprinkle a few pieces of cornmeal in the oil to see if it sizzles; if it does sizzle, the oil is ready
Cooking in batches of two filets, place them in the hot oil; DO NOT MOVE THE FILETS until they’ve cooked for 2 ½ – 3 minutes on one side
After 2 ½ -3 minutes, use tongs and flip the fish over and cook for an additional 3 minutes
Use a thermometer to measure internal temperature; it should be 145ºF
Remove filets from oil and place on a paper towel
Repeat until all filets are cooked and drained
Plate filets and serve with lemon and tartar sauce
Fried catfish filets with tartar sauce
Tartar Sauce Preparation
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients; refrigerate until ready to serve
1 cup mayonnaise, 2½ tablespoons relish, ¼ teaspoon onion, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon vinegar