Southern Fried Catfish

Background and History:

Southern Fried Catfish is a beloved dish in the southern United States. It’s a culinary tradition that has its roots in the South’s rich history of freshwater fishing. Catfish are abundant in southern rivers and lakes, making them a readily available and affordable source of protein for generations. The dish typically involves dredging catfish fillets in a seasoned cornmeal coating and frying them until golden brown. It’s known for its crispy exterior and tender, flaky interior.


  • 4 catfish fillets
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Lemon wedges for serving

Serves: 4

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes


  • In a shallow bowl, combine the cornmeal, all-purpose flour, salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper. This is your seasoned coating mix.
  • Heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Use a thermometer to heat the oil to 350-375°F (175-190°C).
  • While the oil is heating, pat the catfish fillets dry with paper towels.
  • Dredge each catfish fillet in the seasoned coating mix, ensuring an even and generous coating. Gently press the coating onto the fish to help it adhere.
  • Carefully place the coated catfish fillets into the hot oil. Fry for about 3-4 minutes per side, or until they are golden brown and the fish flakes easily with a fork.
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the fried catfish from the hot oil and drain them on paper towels.
  • Serve hot with lemon wedges and your favorite side dishes.

Nutrition Facts: (Per serving)

  • Calories: 280
  • Total Fat: 10g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 65mg
  • Sodium: 630mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 21g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 26g


  • Adjust the level of cayenne pepper to suit your preferred level of spiciness.
  • You can use other fish varieties like tilapia or trout for a similar preparation.
  • Serve with traditional sides like coleslaw, hushpuppies, and tartar sauce.

Allergy Warning:

  • If you have allergies to fish, wheat, or any of the listed spices, please avoid this dish or use suitable substitutions.
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