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.

Perfect Fried Catfish

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  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • cups buttermilk

  • ¼

    teaspoon hot sauce

  • 6

    (4 to 6 ounce) catfish fillets

  • cup plain yellow cornmeal (use stone-ground yellow cornmeal, if available)

  • cup masa harina (corn flour)

  • cup all-purpose flour

  • 2

    teaspoons salt

  • 1

    teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1

    teaspoon ground red pepper

  • ¼

    teaspoon garlic powder

  • Peanut oil


Whisk together buttermilk and hot sauce. Place catfish in a single layer in a 13 by 9 inch baking dish. Pour buttermilk mixture over fish. Cover and chill 8 hours, turning once. Combine cornmeal and next 6 ingredients 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 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° oven until ready to serve.


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