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Beer-Battered Catfish Tostadas with a Mango-Cabbage Slaw


Beer-Battered Catfish Tostadas with a Mango-Cabbage Slaw are the perfect hand-held main course or snack that go with any festive party or celebratory gathering, but you can make this recipe any night of the week for a fiesta of flavor. Serve this recipe as is with your favorite cocktails or margaritas, or serve this recipe as a complete meal with your favorite Mexican rice recipe and a side of black or refried beans.

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  • FISH:
  • 1.5-pounds catfish, sliced into 1-inch pieces, about 24 pieces
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon cayenne pepper or chipotle powder
  • 1 (12-ounce) lager-style beer
  • 4 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 1 large mango, sliced into thin strips
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thin
  • 2 red Fresno or jalapeño peppers, deseeded and sliced
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 8 corn tostadas, homemade or store-bought
  • lemon or lime wedges to garnish
  • hot sauce to drizzle
  • Mexican crema or sour cream to garnish


Servings 4
Preparation time 90mins
Cooking time 100mins
Adapted from


Step 1

After slicing the catfish, season it lightly with salt and black pepper. Cover and chill until ready to use. If using frozen catfish, defrost for a couple of days in the refrigerator and blot off any excess moisture with paper towels.

In a bowl, combine the flour, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/3 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Stir to combine then whisk in the cold beer until mostly smooth. Cover and let sit for up to 1 hour.

In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the mango cabbage slaw in the order listed. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Preheat oven to 200ºF. In a medium saucepan, preheat 3 cups of oil over medium heat for about 8 to 10 minutes. You want a temperature of at least 350ºF.

Fold the catfish pieces into the batter until evenly coated. When the oil is hot, gently drop in 3 to 4 pieces of fish into oil. Fry for 3 to 4 minutes, turning as needed. Transfer onto metal rack lined with a baking sheet. Keep warm in the oven until all the fish is fried. To serve, add some slaw onto tostadas, add 3 catfish nuggets. Garnish with cilantro, lemon and/or lime wedges, hot sauce, and crema or sour cream.

Tips~ When preparing a beer batter, I suggest you prepare it at least 1 hour before. This gives it time to soak up all the dry spices and thicken. Leftover beer-battered fish can easily reheat to crispy in the oven, toaster oven or in a dry nonstick skillet on the stove top. There is no need to add any more oil, just heat at medium/low heat until crispy.

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