Classic Fried Catfish

Classic Fried Catfish

Fried fish are a Southern staple, and the same applies to fried catfish. Although you’ll catch a fisherman throwing back his fair share of caught catfish, if you have the time to scale a catfish into a flaky filet, this classic recipe is completely worth the effort. Spices like ground red pepper, garlic powder, and salt bring out the naturally salty flavors from the catfish in a deliciously spicy batter. A mixture of yellow cornmeal and flour provide the ultimate crispy crust on your fried catfish filets. This recipe is easy and delicious. What better way to celebrate a cooler full of fresh-caught catfish?

How to Make It

Step 1

Whisk together buttermilk and hot sauce.

Step 2

Place catfish in a single layer in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish; pour buttermilk mixture over fish. Cover and chill 8 hours, turning once.

Step 3

Combine cornmeal and next 6 ingredients in a shallow dish.

Step 4

Let fish stand at room temperature 10 minutes. Remove from buttermilk mixture, allowing excess to drip off. Dredge fish in cornmeal mixture, shaking off excess.

Step 5

Pour oil to depth of 2 inches into a large, deep cast-iron or heavy-duty skillet; heat to 360°.

Step 6

Fry fish, in batches, 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack on a paper towel-lined jelly-roll pan. Keep warm in a 225° oven until ready to serve.