Classic Cajun Fried Catfish soaked in buttermilk and breaded in spicy seasoned cornmeal is a delicious deep South favorite!
Cajun Fried Catfish is really the same as Southern Fried Catfish, just kicked up with some good ol Cajun spices for added flavor and heat. I grew up eating a lot of fried catfish. My grandpa did a lot of hunting and fishing, and when we went to visit my grandparents we could expect to have a good fish fry at least one of the nights we were there. As a young girl, I loved to go fishing with my dad. I’ve always been an early bird, so there were times I would wake up around 4 or 5 in the morning on a Saturday and creep into my parent’s room and beg my dad to take me fishing, and most of the time he did. I loved it! The best part though was coming home with a big stringer of fish, cleaning them in the backyard and mom preparing to fry them up in the kitchen. There was nothing fancy about this meal, in fact, many people might have considered it poor folk’s food, but we didn’t care, we just considered it good home cooking.
This recipe calls for soaking the fish in buttermilk for 30 minutes to an hour before frying. This process is to help remove any earthy or “dirty” taste to the fish. Some old recipes call for plain milk, but test kitchens have shown that it’s the acid in buttermilk that does the trick.
Instead of plain cole slaw, I like to serve my Cajun Fried Catfish with Broccoli Salad, Jalapeño Hushpuppies and Homemade Tartar Sauce (all three recipes coming soon), and of course a tall glass of sweet tea. I hope y’all enjoy!
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Cajun Fried Catfish
- 6 pounds catfish fillets
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 4 cups vegetable oil or lard for frying
- Cornmeal Mix:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons Cajun Seasoning used: Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder or granulated garlic
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- Rinse fish fillets under cold water, cut into 2-inch wide strips; place in a large bowl.
- Cover fish with buttermilk and mix with hands; cover and refrigerate: let soak for 30 minutes to an hour before frying.
- In a large zip top bag, combine flour, cornmeal, cajun seasoning, garlic powder and black pepper.
- Heat oil in a large iron skillet over medium-high heat to about 400 degrees.
- Meanwhile drain off buttermilk from the fish. Drop 3 to 4 pieces into the cornmeal mixture and coat each piece well.
- Fry fish pieces for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown.
- Remove from hot oil and drain on paper towels or brown paper bags.
- Serve hot with tarter sauce.