How to Cook Catfish

Four Methods:Pan Fried CatfishDeep Fried CatfishBaked CatfishGrilled Catfish

Catfish is a tasty fish that is most commonly enjoyed by people living in the southern United States. The most common cooking method is deep-frying, but catfish can be grilled, baked and pan-fried with great success. Catfish has a mild, sweet flavor and is less flaky and denser than other whitefish, allowing for a variety of cooking choices. The fillet marinated in brine can also be enjoyed raw. If you want to know how to cook catfish in a variety of ways, just follow these steps.

Ingredients

Pan Fried Catfish

  • 4 (8-oz.) catfish fillets
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. creole seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
  • Lemon wedges for garnish

Deep Fried Catfish

  • 4 (6-oz.) catfish fillets
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 (12-oz.) bottle amber beer
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. granulated garlic
  • 1 juiced lemon

Baked Catfish

  • 2 (7-8 oz.) catfish fillets
  • 4 oz. butter
  • 4 oz. dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp. chopped cilantro
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. paprika

Grilled Catfish

  • 6 catfish filets (6-8 oz.)
  • vegetable cooking spray
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp. melted butter
  • 1 tbsp. lemon pepper seasoning

Method 1
Pan Fried Catfish

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    Prepare the catfish. To get the catfish ready to frying, you should first rinse 4 (8-oz.) catfish fillets under cool water and then pat them dry with paper towels until the extra moisture is absorbed.[1]
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    Make the cornmeal mixture. To do this, mix the cornmeal, salt, flour, salt, creole seasoning, paprika, and pepper together in a shallow dish until the ingredients are completely combined.. Mix together 1/2 cup of yellow cornmeal, 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 tsp. of salt, 1 tsp. of creole seasoning, 1/2 tsp. of paprika, and 1/4 tsp. of ground black pepper together in a shallow dish.
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    Pour 3/4 cup of milk into another shallow dish.
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    Place the catfish fillets into the milk and then coat them in the cornmeal mixture. The milk will help them absorb the cornmeal mixture. When you're done coating them, shake them to remove any excess mixture.
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    Heat 3 tbsp. of butter in a large skillet. Place the skillet over high heat.
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    Fry both sides of two fillets for 3 minutes each. Fry each side for 3 minutes or until the fish flakes when you test it with a fork. Then, flip over the fish and do the same to the other side. It may take slightly less time to fry the second side.
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    Move the fillets to a serving platter. Repeat the frying process with the other two fillets.
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    Serve. Garnish the catfish fillets with lemon wedges and serve them immediately.

Method 2
Deep Fried Catfish

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    Preheat your deep-fryer to 350ºF (176ºC).[2]
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    Whisk the flour, baking powder, cornmeal, salt, and cayenne together until the ingredients are combined. Place these ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 of cup cornmeal, 1 tbsp. of baking powder, 1 tbsp. of kosher salt, and 1/2 tsp. of cayenne pepper.
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    Whisk 1 (12-oz.) bottle of amber beer into the ingredients. Continue whisking the ingredients to remove any lumps until the beer has been fully incorporated into the rest of the ingredients.
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    Cut 4 (6-oz.) catfish fillets in half lengthwise. Make two strips from each fish.
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    Make the salt mixture. To make this mixture, combine the salt, pepper, and granulated garlic together in a small bowl. Combine 1 tbsp. of salt, 1 tbsp. of black pepper, and 2 tbsp. of granulated garlic together in a small bowl using a spoon to stir the ingredients together.
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    Sprinkle the salt mixture over the fillets. Sprinkle the salt mixture over both sides of the fillets until you've evenly seasoned them.
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    Soak each of the fish strips in the beer batter. Leave them in the batter for 10-15 seconds until they've absorbed it.
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    Place the fish in the deep-fryer. Once the fryer has heated, you can add the fish to the fryer a few at a time and move them around so that they don't stick.
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    Fry the fish for 3-4 minutes. Continue to fry them until they're brown and crispy.
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    Serve. Take the fish out of the fryer and place them in a serving platter. Season the fish with the juice of one lemon and enjoy it while it's hot.
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Method 3
Baked Catfish

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    Preheat your oven to 375ºF (190ºC).[3]
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    Season the fish with salt and pepper to taste.
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    Place the fish in an oval casserole dish.
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    Melt the butter in a saucepan over high heat. Place 4 oz. of butter in a small saucepan and heat it until the butter is completely melted.
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    Combine the wine, lemon juice, garlic, and cilantro to the saucepan. Combine 4 oz. of dry white wine, 1 tbsp. of lemon juice, 1 tsp. of chopped garlic, and 1 tsp. of chopped cilantro together in a small bowl.
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    Pour the wine mixture into the saucepan and simmer it for 2 minutes.
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    Remove the mixture from the heat and spoon it over the fish. Then, sprinkle 1 tbsp. of paprika over the fish.
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    Bake the fish for 10-12 minutes. Place the fish in the oven and bake it until it's fully cooked.
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    Serve. Enjoy this tasty baked catfish while it's nice and hot.

Method 4
Grilled Catfish

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    Coat a basket with cooking spray.[4]
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    Place the fish in the coated grilling basket. Place 6 catfish filets (6-8 oz.) of fish in the basket.
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    Combine the lemon juice, butter, and lemon pepper seasoning together. Combine 1/3 cup of lemon juice, 3 tbsp. of melted butter, and 1 tbsp. of lemon pepper seasoning together in a small bowl.
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    Brush the fillets with the butter mixture. Use a brush to cover the fillets with the mixture.
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    Place the basket on your grill. Close the cover.
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    Grill the fish over medium coals over 300-400ºF (148-204ºC) heat for about 6-8 minutes on each side. The fish should flake on each side if you touch it with a fork. Continue to baste the fish while it's cooking.
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    Serve. Serve this grilled catfish with mashed potatoes or grilled vegetables.

Tips

  • If the catfish belly is considerably larger than its tail, cut two diagonal slits in the catfish belly for even cooking.
  • Catfish are bottom-dwelling foragers that feed on dead fish and decaying organisms. However, grain-fed catfish that are farm-raised eat the healthier grain instead of foraging discarded animal particles found in lakes and ponds.

Warnings

  • All cooking devices, oils and catfish will be hot during and after cooking. Use caution and wear proper hand mitts to prevent burns.
  • Hot oil often pops out of deep-fryers and skillets when cooking. Stand back from these cooking methods to protect from burns.

Things You'll Need

  • Good quality catfish, preferably grain-fed/farm-raised
  • Chef's knife
  • Paper towels
  • Cooking device – grill, oven, deep-fryer or large skillet
  • Heavy-duty aluminum foil if oven baking
  • Cooking oil spray
  • Grilling basket (if grilling)

Article Info

Categories: Fish and Seafood