Southern Fried Catfish

On the menu tonight – Southern Fried Catfish! I was feeling like making another Southern dish today so I made fried catfish and this Vidalia Onion Cornbread. The seasoning on the catfish is fantastic! People often think of fried fish as heavy, but if it’s done right, it won’t be greasy – the fish will be light and flaky. The trick is to maintain the oil temperature and not over crowd the pot.

I paired the fish with some Vidalia Onion Cornbread and it was FANTASTIC! Check out the recipes and make your own fish fry. You can thank me later.

Southern Fried Catfish

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By Alton Brown Serves: 2-4
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes

Southern Fried Catfish


  • 1 quart peanut oil
  • 1 cup fine cornmeal
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon hot smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 farm-raised catfish fillets, rinsed and thoroughly patted dry
  • ¾ cup low-fat buttermilk



Heat the peanut oil in a 5 quart Dutch oven to 350 degrees.


Whisk the cornmeal and flour together in a shallow dish.


Combine the seasonings in a small bowl.


Season the fish on both sides.


Pour the buttermilk in another shallow dish.


Dip each piece of fish into the corn meal mixture.


Dip each piece of fish into the buttermilk.


Then, dip each piece of fish into the corn meal mixture again and set on a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes.


Gently add the filets to the hot oil (no more than two at a time) and fry until golden brown, about 5 – 6 minutes.


Remove the fish to a cooling rack, then repeat with the rest of the fish.


Serve immediately.

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