I love the Southern tradition of the Friday (or Saturday) night fish fry. Here is a recipe for super crispy fried fish that uses a cornmeal coating rather than a flour-based batter. Try it and I think you’ll love it. Even kids really like the crisp, crunchy fish nuggets.
- 1 cup whole buttermilk
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbsp hot sauce, such as Louisiana Hot Sauce
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- 3 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ to 1 lb. catfish fillets, cut into small (about 2-inch) pieces
- 1 ½ cups yellow cornmeal
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- Oil for frying
- In a shallow baking dish or sealable plastic freezer bag, combine the buttermilk, Worcestershire, hot sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, 1 tsp of the salt and ½ tsp black pepper. Add the catfish pieces to the marinade and refrigerate for 2 to 8 hours.
- In a large shallow dish or pie pan, whisk together the cornmeal with the remaining salt, black pepper and cayenne.
- Heat oil for frying to 350 degrees F.
- While the oil is heating, remove the catfish pieces from the buttermilk mixture and dredge in the cornmeal. Allow the fish to sit in the cornmeal for at least 5 minutes before cooking.
- Fry the catfish in the hot oil in batches, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Drain on a paper grocery bag or paper towels. Serve with additional hot sauce, if you like it hot!
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.