Fried catfish fillets are a Southern staple and you can enjoy the taste of home in your own kitchen with this simple recipe. It’s easy to make perfectly browned and crispy catfish.
- 6 catfish fillets (5 to 6 ounces each).
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup oil for frying
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons table salt
- 1 teaspoon ground paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Heat the cooking oil to 325 degrees. You can use a deep fryer or a skillet. A deep fryer is easier, as it ensures cooking without having to watch the fish and process it. If using a skillet, the cast iron variety is better because it retains heat more evenly than a thinner skillet.
- Rinse the catfish fillets under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
- Pour the seasoned salt and yellow cornmeal into a bag. You can use a paper or plastic grocery bag if you have one on hand, or any type of container with a lid.
- Dip the catfish fillets into the flour and shake the bag gently but thoroughly until the catfish is coated with the flour and seasoning mixture.
- Sprinkle a pinch of the flour into the hot oil. If the oil sizzles or pops, it is ready to cook. If the oil rolls just a little, it should heat up in a few more minutes. You want the oil to be hot so that it sizzles immediately when the catfish is introduced. This seals in the flavor of the fried catfish fillets.
- Place the catfish in the hot oil. You may need to cook two batches, depending on the size of the fryer or skillet you have.
- Cook the catfish for about five minutes or until golden brown. If using a skillet, place the catfish fillets on a fork halfway through the cooking time.
- Place the fish on a bed of two or three heavy paper towels to drain for two minutes, then serve hot.