My husband grew up in Oklahoma and has very fond memories of his mom cooking him catfish. Years ago, I had a pretty low opinion of catfish and to this day, it’s not one of my favorites. Not only is it a bottom feeder (or maybe because of it, I don’t know), I find it generally a pretty oily fish. When my husband first started experimenting with making fried catfish, he did the typical soaking in milk, dredging in eggs and tried suggestions like coating in mustard before dredging in corn meal. These experiments were edible, but he knew that it didn’t match up to his momma’s.
The next time he was in Oklahoma, he watched his mom make her version and took pretty deliberate notes. He realized that most of the typical steps were unnecessary and it really was all about small pieces and a little bit of patience. This is a favorite of our girls, and I have come to appreciate this preparation method. It’s really the only way I will eat it.
1.5 pounds catfish filets
1 cup cornmeal
Adobo to season
Oil for frying (we use olive oil because it’s what we have)
1. Cut the catfish filets in equal size strips
2. Dredge the catfish pieces in cornmeal
3. Fry catfish for 90 seconds on one side
4. Flip catfish and fry for 90 seconds on second side, then an additional 15-20 seconds
4. Remove catfish to drain on piece of paper towel
5. Season with Adobo
As I said before, this is the only preparation of catfish that I enjoy. My husband ate his over a salad, and the rest of us enjoyed it with baked potatoes, a corn and red pepper salad, and peas.