This fried catfish is crispy on the outside with a breading that is seasoned to perfection. The outside might be crisp, but the fish is tender and flaky on the inside!
This southern-style fried catfish is a delicious addition to any meal. Make it a full southern dinner with a side of hush puppies and fried green tomatoes or keep it simple with some french fries (chips). The whole dish is sure to be a hit from the well-breaded fish to the flakey meat inside.
What Is Fried Catfish?
Catfish is a type of fish often caught in rivers and small lakes by novice and experienced fishermen which makes it a summer favorite in many homes as people bring home their catches. You can also simply opt to buy it prepared from a grocery store if fishing isn’t your thing.
This catfish is breaded in a seasoned batter and then fried in a pot of boiling oil for a perfectly cooked fillet of fish packed with flavor and crunchy texture in every bite.
How To Make Fried Catfish Fillets
- Place vegetable oil in a deep skillet and allow that to heat up. Ultimately you want your oil temperature to be 350-375 degrees.
- Place buttermilk in a shallow bowl, Place cornmeal, flour, and Old Bay Seasoning in another shallow bowl.
- Working with one fillet at a time, soak the fillets in buttermilk, dredge it in the flour mixture and fry fillets for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown, turn your fish and fry the second side until it is also golden brown. Drain your deep-fried fish on a baking sheet covered in paper towels.
- If you do not have buttermilk (I rarely do) place 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup and add enough milk to yield 1 cup. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes.
- Adjust the amount of Old Bay Seasoning to your taste. You can also whisk in garlic powder, onion powder, and parsley flakes.
- As you add fish to your hot oil, make sure you avoid overcrowding your pan. This will cause the oil temperature to go down, which will require you to fry your fish longer.
- Allow your fish to drain before serving.
What Is The Best Oil To Fry Catfish In?
You can fry your fish in any oil of choice but the most beloved oil for frying fish is to use peanut oil. The next two big options would be to use Crisco or lard. That said, it’s much more likely that you have canola oil on hand and you can use that if desired.
Why Is My Fried Catfish Mushy?
The oil temperature has the biggest influence on the outcome of your catfish. If you add your fish to the oil before it has had time to come to temperature then the breading on your fish will absorb all the oil.
To get golden, crispy fish, it is imperative that your oil is at the correct temperature. Using a cooking thermometer is the best way to ensure the correct temperature.
What To Serve With This Southern Fried Catfish
Hot sauce for starters! Other side ideas are:
- 4 catfish fillets
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- 3 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
- 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
- oil for frying
- salt and pepper
Heat oil in a large, deep skillet. Oil is ready when the handle of a wooden spoon is placed in the oil if bubbles form around the handle the oil is ready!
Place buttermilk in a shallow dish. In a separate bowl stir together the cornmeal, flour, seasoning, salt, and pepper. When oil is ready, coat one fish fillet in buttermilk then dredge in cornmeal mixture. Carefully place fish in hot oil. Fry fish for 4-5 minutes, turn and fry the second side for another 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove fish and place on a paper towel to drain. Repeat with remaining fillets.
Serve fish immediately.
Amount Per Serving Calories 810Total Fat 51gSaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 89mgSodium 239mgFiber 3gSugar 3gProtein 31g