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Perfect Fried Catfish


Moist and tender on the inside. Crispy on the outside. That makes this fried catfish the perfect balance of textures and flavors, with a hint of Tabasco.

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Rate this recipe 4.3/5 (27 Votes)


  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 6 (4 to 6-ounce) catfish fillets
  • 1/3 cup plain stone-ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup masa harina or corn flour
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • peanut oil to fry


Servings 6
Preparation time 15mins
Cooking time 30mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Whisk together buttermilk and hot sauce.

Place catfish in a single layer in a 13x9-inch baking dish. Pour buttermilk mixture over fish. Cover and chill 8 hours, turning once.

Combine cornmeal, masa harina, all-purpose flour, salt, black pepper, red pepper, and garlic powder in a shallow dish.

Let fish stand at room temperature 10 minutes. Remove from buttermilk mixture, allowing excess to drip off. Dredge fish in cornmeal mixture, shaking off excess.

Pour oil to a depth of 2-inches into a large, deep cast-iron or heavy-duty skillet. Heat to 360°F.

Fry fish, in batches, 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack on a paper towel lined jelly-roll pan. Keep warm in a 225°F oven until ready to serve.

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