Fried Catfish

Fried Catfish

The cooks at Carmack Fish House in Vaiden, Mississippi, serve this dish with tartar sauce and a side of hush puppies. Our kitchen director, Hunter Lewis, who hails from the South, wrote about catfish in "Pride of the Delta" (March 2009).Ben Fink

The history of soul food is written between the lines of family recipes. The cooking of handed-down traditional recipes, along with the retelling of common stories, brings past and present together. This recipe is a taste of one of the many soul food specialties. Cornmeal, preferably white, is the catfish breading of choice around Memphis.

Fried Catfish
This recipe is a taste of one of the many soul food specialties.
Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 34 cup white or yellow cornmeal
  • 4 (8-oz.) catfish filets
  • Vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Combine paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and ground black pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Pour cornmeal into a shallow pan.
  3. Sprinkle catfish filets with seasoning mixture, then dredge each in cornmeal, coating well on both sides. Shake off excess.
  4. Heat 12" vegetable oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, add filets and cook, turning once, until golden, 3–5 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Serve with lemon wedges and Tartar Sauce.