Fried Catfish: Fried catfish prepared in the way typical of the American South.

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Indulge in the comforting flavors of the American South with this classic recipe for fried catfish.

A beloved staple of Southern cuisine, fried catfish boasts a crispy golden exterior and tender, flaky flesh that is sure to satisfy any appetite.


Whether served alongside hushpuppies, coleslaw, and tartar sauce for a traditional fish fry or enjoyed as a standalone dish with a squeeze of lemon, fried catfish is the epitome of Southern comfort food.

In this recipe, we’ll guide you through the process of preparing perfectly fried catfish in the way typical of the American South, ensuring a deliciously satisfying meal that will transport you to the heart of Dixie.



  • 4 catfish fillets (about 6-8 ounces each)
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


Prepare the Catfish

Rinse the catfish fillets under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels.

Season the fillets generously with salt and pepper on both sides.


Prepare the Breading Mixture

In a shallow dish, combine the cornmeal, flour, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper (if using).

Mix well to ensure the seasonings are evenly distributed.


Dredge the Catfish

Dredge each catfish fillet in the breading mixture, pressing gently to adhere the coating to the fish.

Shake off any excess breading and place the fillets on a wire rack to rest for 5-10 minutes before frying.


Heat the Oil

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil to 350°F (175°C).

Use enough oil to fully submerge the catfish fillets during frying, typically about 2 inches deep.


Fry the Catfish

Carefully place the coated catfish fillets into the hot oil, working in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan.

Fry the fillets for 5-6 minutes per side, or until golden brown and crispy, flipping them halfway through cooking.


Drain and Serve

Once cooked, transfer the fried catfish to a paper towel-lined plate or wire rack to drain off any excess oil.

Serve the catfish hot with your favorite sides and sauces, such as tartar sauce, coleslaw, and lemon wedges.


Nutritional Facts

  • Servings: 4
  • Calories per serving: Approximately 300 kcal
  • Total Fat: 10g
    • Saturated Fat: 2g
    • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 60mg
  • Sodium: 600mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 25g
    • Dietary Fiber: 2g
    • Sugars: 1g
  • Protein: 25g

FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Can I use a different type of fish for this recipe?

Yes, you can use other types of fish such as tilapia, perch, or cod if catfish is not available.

However, keep in mind that the cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of the fillets.


2. Can I bake the catfish instead of frying it?

While frying is the traditional method for preparing Southern-style catfish, you can bake the fillets in the oven at 400°F (200°C) for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through and crispy.

3. Can I make the breading mixture in advance?

Yes, you can prepare the breading mixture ahead of time and store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a month.


Just be sure to give it a good stir before using it to coat the catfish.

4. How can I ensure the catfish stays crispy after frying?

To keep the catfish crispy after frying, place the cooked fillets on a wire rack set over a baking sheet in a warm oven (about 200°F or 95°C) while you finish frying the remaining batches.


This will help prevent them from becoming soggy.

5. Can I freeze leftover fried catfish?

Yes, you can freeze leftover fried catfish in an airtight container for up to 2-3 months.


To reheat, place the frozen fillets on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through and crispy.


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