Southern Fried Catfish (An Icon of Southern Cooking}

12:54 PM

To my delight, my oldest grandson, Elijah called me last week, and asked me if he could bring me some catfish over to the house, and we have a fish fry.  The answer is always yes when it comes to my grandchildren asking me to make them something, and this time was no different.  Southern Fried Catfish---who can resist?
There are two rules in my house when frying catfish, one is the oil is hot enough to light a match when tossed in the oil, and two, NEVER stir the catfish while frying.  This cools down the oil and causes the fish to hold the oil, and be greasing.  As for the breading, we use  simple ingredients--a cornmeal mix and plenty of salt.

The basic truth here in Texas is Southern Fried Catfish is an icon of Southern cooking.  There maybe some discrepancies on how to fry and bread catfish, but there are no discrepancies on it being a Southern classic.

Southern Fired Catfish

5 lbs. catfish filets, washed and patted dry
2 tablespoons salt
2-3 cups yellow self-rising cornmeal mix
peanut or canola oil for frying

Lay catfish out on a sheet pan and generously salt on each side; set aside.  In a bowl pour cornmeal mixture in and place a few of the salted catfish and coat well.  Lay them on a clean sheet pan.  Finish coating all the catfish.
In a large deep sided cast iron skillet or a heavy duty pot, pour enough oil to come three force the way up the skillet.  Heat oil hot enough to light a match when tossed in.  Remove the match and dip enough breaded catfish to fry without crowding in the skillet.  Turn after a minute or two, or lightly brown.  Continue fry until all the catfish is fried.  NEVER stir the oil while frying.  Always just turn the catfish and lift out when ready to remove from the the hot oil.

Note:  The salt amount and cornmeal amount may vary as to the size of your filets.  Feel free to adjust to your liking.

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Kay Little
Kay Little

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