Crispy Fried Catfish

Southern Kitchen

Serves: 4

Hands On Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


Vegetable oil, for frying

2 cups buttermilk

3 tablespoons hot sauce

8 boneless catfish fillets

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups yellow cornmeal

2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning

Kosher salt


In a large Dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pot, heat 2 inches of the oil to 350 degrees over medium-high heat. 

While the oil is heating, whisk together the buttermilk and hot sauce in a large bowl. Add the catfish and let soak for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the flour, cornmeal, Old Bay and 2 tablespoons salt in a large bowl. 

Remove the catfish from the buttermilk, drain off any excess liquid and transfer to the flour mixture. Thoroughly coat the catfish on all sides, tap off the excess flour and transfer to a plate.

Fry the catfish, 2 to 3 fillets at a time, in the hot oil until the fish has cooked through and the breading is crisp, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, season with salt and repeat with the remaining catfish. Serve hot. 

About the recipe

Try to source domestic, farm-raised catfish and avoid anything imported from overseas. Mississippi has many amazing farms that produce catfish with a sweet and clean flavor, and without any of the stereotypical muddiness associated with imported catfish. We like to use Texas Pete hot sauce in this recipe.