Entrees

Texas Fried Catfish

Tom Perini / September 7, 2016

Nothing hits spot quite like fried catfish! Before you batter the fish, cut them in half lengthwise for the perfect ratio of fish to cornmeal.

Recipe author Tom Perini claims catfish is one of the few things openly accepted by ranchers and cattlemen as an alternative to beef. “Catfish can be found in most every river, lake, and pond in Texas, and we all grew up fishing for them," he says.

Texas Fried Catfish

Prep Time

10 minutes

Cook Time

6 minutes

Servings

6

Ingredients

  • 6 (5- to 7-ounce) catfish fillets  
  • Egg dip:
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons seasoning salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Seasoned corn meal:
  • 2 cups yellow corn meal
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Vegetable oil (enough so that the fish can be fully submerged in the oil) 
Texas Fried Catfish

Preparation

  1. Slice each fillet in half lengthwise. In a shallow bowl, combine the egg dip ingredients and mix well. On a large plate, combine the ingredients for the seasoned corn meal. 
  2. Heat enough oil so that the fish fillets will be submerged in a 7-quart cast iron Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 350°. 
  3. While the oil heats, dip the catfish fillets one at a time in the egg dip, coating each piece fully and letting any excess drip off. Dredge each piece in the seasoned corn meal, coating it completely. Shake off any excess.
  4. When the oil is hot, carefully slip the fillets into the oil without crowding them (you may have to fry them in batches). Fry until the fillets float to the top of the oil, about 6 minutes. When the fish is ready, the meat will be flaky. Transfer them to a wire rack to drain. 
Tom Perini

Contributed By

Tom Perini

Tom Perini is the owner of the Perini Ranch Steakhouse in Buffalo Gap, Texas. 

Texas Fried Catfish

By Tom Perini

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 6 minutes

Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 6 (5- to 7-ounce) catfish fillets  
  • Egg dip:
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons seasoning salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Seasoned corn meal:
  • 2 cups yellow corn meal
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Vegetable oil (enough so that the fish can be fully submerged in the oil) 
Texas Fried Catfish

Preparation

  1. Slice each fillet in half lengthwise. In a shallow bowl, combine the egg dip ingredients and mix well. On a large plate, combine the ingredients for the seasoned corn meal. 
  2. Heat enough oil so that the fish fillets will be submerged in a 7-quart cast iron Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 350°. 
  3. While the oil heats, dip the catfish fillets one at a time in the egg dip, coating each piece fully and letting any excess drip off. Dredge each piece in the seasoned corn meal, coating it completely. Shake off any excess.
  4. When the oil is hot, carefully slip the fillets into the oil without crowding them (you may have to fry them in batches). Fry until the fillets float to the top of the oil, about 6 minutes. When the fish is ready, the meat will be flaky. Transfer them to a wire rack to drain. 

Recipe by Tom Perini for Lodge Cast Iron at http://www.lodgemfg.com/recipe/texas-fried-catfish