Fried Catfish

Ben Fink

This recipe came to us from Edna Scott, the wife of a catfish farmer in the Mississippi Delta. The secret to getting it just right is in cooking the fish at the proper temperature. Fried catfish goes particularly well with Hush Puppies.

Fried Catfish
The secret to getting this dish just right is in cooking the fish at the proper temperature.
Yield: serves 4-8

Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1⁄2 cups flour
  • 3 tbsp. seasoned salt
  • 1 tbsp. garlic salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp. lemon pepper
  • 1⁄4 tsp. cayenne
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 catfish filets
  • Salt

Instructions

  1. Pour oil into a large deep cast-iron or heavy-bottomed skillet to a depth of 3" and heat over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking, 350°–360° on a candy thermometer.
  2. Meanwhile, combine cornmeal, flour, seasoned salt, garlic salt, lemon pepper, cayenne, and black pepper to taste in a large shallow dish, then thoroughly dredge catfish filets, gently shaking off excess.
  3. Working in 2 batches to avoid crowding, fry catfish in the hot oil, without turning, until golden and crisp, 5–6 minutes. Transfer filets with a slotted spatula to paper towels to drain. Season to taste with salt.