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Southern Fried Catfish

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Serving: Varies depending on number of fillets

Notes: Skip the trip to Cracker Barrel, this homemade recipe is the best!


  1. Catfish fillets – The star of the dish, provides a tender and flaky texture.
  2. Wet dredging mixture:
  • Buttermilk
  • Hot sauce (we recommend Crystal)

3. Dry dredging mixture:

  • Fine cornmeal
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Garlic powder

4. Oil – For frying.


  1. Prep dredging stations:
    In a shallow bowl, whisk together buttermilk and hot sauce. In a separate shallow bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
  2. Prep the catfish fillets:
    Season the catfish fillets with salt and pepper. Dredge each fillet first in the buttermilk mixture, then coat thoroughly in the cornmeal mixture.
  3. Fry the catfish:
    Heat about 1/2 inch oil in a cast iron or electric skillet to 350°F. Fry the catfish fillets for 2-3 minutes per side or until they achieve a golden brown color. Remove and place on a wire rack or a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.

Serving Suggestions

  • Dressings: Serve fried catfish with lemon wedges and your choice of dipping sauce. Tartar Sauce and Remoulade Sauce are traditional favorites.
  • Side dishes: Pair the catfish with Cheese Grits for a classic southern combo. Other excellent side options include Coleslaw, Macaroni Salad, Steak Fries, Fried Green Tomatoes, and Southern Squash Casserole.

Storage Tips

  • Allow any leftover fried catfish to cool down before transferring them to an airtight container.
  • Refrigerate for up to 1-2 days.
  • To reheat, use an oven preheated to 375°F and warm the catfish on a wire rack set over a baking sheet until they are heated through.

Enjoy your mouthwatering Southern Fried Catfish and transport your taste buds straight to the heart of the American South!

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