This spicy classic pan fried catfish has a great "kick" of flavor especially paired with the spicy tarter sauce. Serve as an entrée or appetizer!
When you think of Soul Food, what food do you think of? Maybe BBQ Ribs and Fried Chicken? Or black-eyed peas and collard greens? Certainly you think of cornbread and peach cobbler! Well, did you think about Spicy Classic Pan Fried Catfish? Yes, that’s right, that is the dish we were assigned to bring to Debbie and Phil’s Scrumptious Soul Food Gr8 dinner.
Although frying fish was a first for me, I was excited to bring this classic southern Pan Fried Catfish and dipping sauce to the dinner as an appetizer. This tarter sauce has a bit of a "kick" and the perfect spice to serve with this fun soul food entrée or appetizer.
I can honestly say that this evening was truly one of my favorite Gr8 Dinners with all the comfort food I love filling our tummies all night! Yum Yum!
Spicy Classic Pan Fried Catfish
- 4 6-7 ounces each fresh catfish fillets
- 3/4 cup buttermilk, see Gr8 Tips for a substitute
- 1 Tablespoon hot sauce, I like Frank's RedHot Sauce
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 Tablespoon Cajun Seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- frying oil, I use peanut oil
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 3 Tablespoons dill or sweet pickle relish
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
- 1 Tablespoon hot sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
- If you are making the catfish for an appetizer or just want to serve it in smaller pieces, cut the fillets into strips or bite sized pieces.
- In a small bowl mix the buttermilk and hot sauce.
- Lay the catfish in a 9 x 13 baking dish and pour the buttermilk mixture over the fish. Turn the fish over so that all sides are covered with the buttermilk. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes while you make the coating and the tarter sauce.
- In a medium bowl combine the cornmeal, flour, Cajun seasoning, paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir to completely combine the ingredients.
- Take the fish out of the refrigerator about 10 minutes before starting to cook it.
- Heat about 1/2-inch of oil in a large cast iron skillet over a medium flame to about 350℉.
- Dip each piece of the fish from the buttermilk mixture into the dry mixture until coated on all sides.
- Carefully place several pieces into the oil. Cook on each side until golden brown about 6 - 8 minutes total. Repeat with remaining fish.
- Remove from oil and place on paper towels or brown paper bag to absorb the excess oil.
- Serve warm with any of your favorite additions like tarter sauce (yummy recipe below), malt vinegar, hot sauce, and or lemon slices.
- In a medium bowl, stir together all the tarter sauce ingredients listed above until completely combined. Taste and add any extra of any of the ingredients you may like.
- The tarter sauce can be made up to two days in advance and kept in the refrigerator.
- The sauce can be served with other fish of your choice.
- If you don't have buttermilk on hand, just put one Tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice into a liquid measuring cup and add milk until it measures one cup. Stir it up and let it rest for 5 minutes. You can also use a non-dairy milk the same way.
- And, if you have leftover buttermilk, here is Anna's recipe for delicious and simple buttermilk pie!