Pan Fried Catfish Filets Recipe -
Pan Fried Catfish Filets Recipe
  • READY IN 45 mins

Pan Fried Catfish Filets

Recipe by  

"Lightly fried and very flavorful. Sure to please all. Serve with lemon wedges and homemade tartar sauce."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 4 filets Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    15 mins

    45 mins


  1. In a mixing bowl, stir together cornmeal, cayenne pepper, paprika and onion powder. Mix well. Pour mixture onto a large sheet of waxed paper.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Pour milk into a medium bowl. Dip catfish filets into milk and hold up and let the milk drip off. Roll the milk-soaked filet in the cornmeal mixture until completely covered. Set aside.
  4. Fry the garlic in the hot skillet, but do not burn. Add the coated catfish filets and cook for 5 to 7 minutes on each side, sprinkling salt on the fish after each turn. Cook until golden brown and fish flakes easily with a fork. Drain on paper towels.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Sep 03, 2003

This recipe was quick and simple. I had some thick filets that did not get done when the crust looked done so I put them in the oven. They turned out great. This dish is kind of hot. My 6 year old did not eat the crust because it was to hot for her. My husband loved it.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Apr 07, 2004

I won't make this again. A much better coating is Italian bread crumbs with Seasoned Salt and more Oregano. Dip fish in milk/egg, coat with coating and fry. Serve with lemon juice. Works with any lean fish like perch, walleye, catfish etc.


71 Ratings

Feb 24, 2008

Absolutely fantastic! I rubbed the fish with Adobo seasoning on both sides before dredging it in the cornmeal coating. I did not use the milk. The fish already had enough moisture for the coating to stick to. I recommend seasoning the fish in some manner (eg salt and pepper or Adobo) before adding the coating. Doing so enhances the overall flavor. Also, this recipe creates a lot of cornmeal seasoning. Store some for later before using the rest to coat the fish, or else you'll be throwing away alot of excess cornmeal seasoning mix. Regarding concerns on cooking thick pieces of fish, I used a cast iron skillet which holds and distributes heat well. You can turn down the heat to slow down the cooking if needed. Thanks for the delicious recipe!

Mar 08, 2003

I noticed the question about mercury content in catfish. As I understand it, mercury content is of concern for ocean fish such as tuna, shark, etc. Catfish, being a river or farm raised fish, is not one of the fish that we are supposed to limit in our diets due to mercury. Same goes for Salmon.

Sep 13, 2010

As written, it isn't terrible, but there are some issues. The garlic tends to burn easily, and the fish really doesn't need it; but if you want that flavor, use some garlic powder in the seasoning. The seasonings listed aren't bad at all, but cajun seasoning is even better. Whatever seasoning you use, use it directly on the fish. It gives it awesome flavor. Lightly coat the fish in flour before dipping in milk, too. It helps attach the crust to the fish a little better. And as a matter of personal taste, split the cornmeal with half flour. I think it makes for a more cohesive crust. The salt is not listed on the ingredients list, but it is essential. Make sure not to miss it!

Nov 30, 2006

I used a packaged fish fry mix and just added garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. The mix already had a good amount of cayenne and also had some lemon juice added to it. My fish turned out very flavorful and juicy. And yes, make sure your oil is hot enough before laying anything battered in it or else the batter 'melts' off and burns into a clumpy mess.

Jan 20, 2004

This recipe was good. As always when frying, be sure the oil is hot enough before adding your fish. Otherwise, you'll end up with a not-so-tasty disaster (which I did the on my first attempt at this recipe).

Sep 03, 2003

I wish I had put these in the oven to finish them off, too -- the fillets were thick and I overcooked them on the stove. Unfortunately the olive oil gave these a funny taste (I wish I had used canola oil) and the overcooking caused the garlic to taste bitter. Ick. Seasoning was yummers, though.


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  • Calories
  • 489 kcal
  • 24%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 32.7 g
  • 11%
  • Cholesterol
  • 58 mg
  • 19%
  • Fat
  • 29.3 g
  • 45%
  • Fiber
  • 2.1 g
  • 9%
  • Protein
  • 22.5 g
  • 45%
  • Sodium
  • 88 mg
  • 4%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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