Southern Fried Catfish

There are catfish houses everywhere in America down south where catfish is the whole show. Coleslaw, hush puppies, and buttermilk biscuits with jelly or honey are often served family style, and sweet iced tea is served in Mason jars or icy tin cups. There’s also a parade of local favorites available like fried pickles, greens, fried okra, squash casserole, and fried green tomatoes.

Although fried catfish is a favorite across the Deep South, 75% of the world’s supply of farm-raised catfish comes from one state- Mississippi.

Southern Fried Catfish

Catfish is a mild and delicate whitefish. A good substitution are thin fillets of trout, sole, tilapia, or flounder. The soft mild fish and crunchy crust are enhanced with a squeeze of lemon accompanied by a cool and creamy tartar sauce.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American, American Deep South, North American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Deep cast iron skillet, or wok
  • Rimmed baking sheet with wire rack
  • Instant read thermometer


  • 3 lb Catfish fillets, quartered
  • 2 cups Yellow cornmeal
  • cups All-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp Baking powder
  • ¼ cup Seasoned salt (Lawry's or Old Bay)
  • 1 tbsp Black pepper
  • 1 whole Lemon, cut into 8 wedges


  • In a frying vessel, heat 2-inches of oil over medium-high heat to 350°F(175°C).
    Meanwhile, combine cornmeal, flour, and the other spices in a large bowl. Add the catfish and coat thoroughly. Shake off any excess and transfer to a rack over a baking pan.
  • Working in batches not to overcrowd the fish, fry the catfish in the hot oil until golden, about 6 minutes. Transfer fried catfish back to the rack and fry additional fish until done. Transfer to plates and serve with a lemon wedge and tartar sauce.


Serving: 11 | Calories: 483kcal | Carbohydrates: 96g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 640mg | Potassium: 327mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 8IU | Calcium: 371mg | Iron: 5mg

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