Delicious and Crispy Southern Fried Catfish Recipe

Oct 24, 2023 | Main Courses


Prep Time

Cooking Time

15 minutes
15 minutes

Ingredients for Southern Fried Catfish

– 1 pound fresh catfish fillets
– 1 cup yellow cornmeal
– 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
– 1/2 teaspoon paprika
– 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
– Vegetable oil, for frying
– Lemon wedges, for serving
– Tartar sauce or hot sauce, for dipping


1. Prepare the catfish fillets

– Rinse the catfish fillets under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. This helps remove any unpleasant odors and excess moisture.
– Slice the catfish fillets into manageable portions, around 2-3 inches wide. This ensures even cooking and convenient serving.

Frying Southern Fried Catfish

2. Assemble the coating mixture

– In a shallow dish, combine the yellow cornmeal, all-purpose flour, salt, black pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Mix well to evenly distribute the spices.
– Dip each catfish fillet into the coating mixture, ensuring both sides are well-coated. Pat gently to help the coating adhere.

3. Heat the oil and fry the catfish

– In a large cast-iron skillet or a deep fryer, heat vegetable oil to a temperature of 350°F (175°C). Ensure the oil level is deep enough to submerge the catfish while they cook.
– Carefully place the catfish fillets into the hot oil, being mindful not to overcrowd the skillet. Fry each side until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. Use tongs or a slotted spatula to flip and remove the catfish from the oil.

4. Drain and serve

– Place the fried catfish fillets on a wire rack or paper towels to drain any excess oil.
– Serve the Southern Fried Catfish piping hot, accompanied by lemon wedges for a tangy burst of flavor. Dip the succulent fillets into homemade tartar sauce or hot sauce for an extra kick.

Southern Fried Catfish being served

Tips and Variations:

– For a healthier alternative, try baking instead of frying the catfish. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the coated catfish fillets on the sheet and drizzle them with a small amount of oil. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.
– Experiment with different spice blends to customize the flavors of your fried catfish. Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, or dried herbs such as thyme or oregano can add an extra layer of complexity.
– Pair your Southern Fried Catfish with classic Southern sides like collard greens, macaroni and cheese, or coleslaw for a complete and satisfying meal.
– To make this recipe gluten-free, replace the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend and ensure your cornmeal is certified gluten-free.

The beauty of Southern Fried Catfish lies not only in its crispy, golden exterior but in the stories and memories it carries. As I savor each bite, I am reminded of family gatherings, laughter, and the wisdom inherited through generations. May this recipe bring you the same joy it brings me, encapsulating the rich flavors and traditions of Southern cuisine. Happy frying!

Frying Southern Fried Catfish

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 fillet (43g)Servings Per Recipe 24

Amount Per Serving
Calories 120
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 6%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 140mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 9g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A 2% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 2% Iron 4%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories: 2,000 2,500
Total Fat Less than 65g 80g
Saturated Fat Less than 20g 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg 300 mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g 375g
Dietary Fiber 25g 30g
Main Courses > Delicious and Crispy Southern Fried Catfish Recipe

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