Cookbook Profile

Fried Catfish

Serves 6


Fried Catfish Catfish is one of the few things to be publicly accepted by ranchers and cattleman as an alternative to beef, and it's a beautiful, flaky white meat. Catfish are in most every Texas river, lake and pond, and we all grew up fishing for them. Now they're available farm raised in any grocery store.

Before we batter our fish, we cut them in half (lengthwise), because if they're too large, the ratio of fish to cornmeal is going to be off. Don't use too much batter for the amount of fish. We use heavy, cast-iron pots, but your favorite deep skillet will do just fine.


Six 5-7 ounces catfish fillets

Egg Dip:
3/4 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons seasoning salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

Seasoned Cornmeal:
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Vegetable oil, 2 inches deep in skillet


Slice each fillet in half lengthwise. In a shallow bowl, combine the milk, egg, salt and pepper. Combine the cornmeal and spices on a large plate. Dip the catfish fillet in the egg dip, then coat with the seasoned cornmeal. Shake the excess meal from the fish, then slowly place in hot oil (325 degrees) and fry for about 6 minutes, or until the catfish floats. When the fish is ready, the meat will be flaky.

Buy the Book!


Texas Cowboy Cooking
By Tom Perini
Time Life Books, 2000
Hardback, $24.95
Color photographs throughout
ISBN: 0-7370-2037-7
Recipe reprinted by permission.


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This page created July 2000