While there are a lot of things that being at home is preventing me from doing right now, cooking is definitely the area of my life that I’ve had more time to explore during this pandemic. I’ve always enjoyed cooking for my family but I’ll be the first to admit that time restrictions have prevented me from cooking as much as I would like. Not so anymore. I have ALL the time to cook now and two helpers who love to experiment with me in the kitchen. Knowing this, I’ve been pulling out some of my favorite childhood recipes and giving them new spins, creating dishes that my family adores and that we will definitely be adding to the meal rotation even when all this is over. Having grown up in the South living on the coast, one thing my mama made sure I knew how to do was fry fish but truthfully, I don’t do it often. However, I recently decided that my family needed a little Southern comfort food and so I whipped up one of my personal favorites; Southern Fried Catfish with Homemade Tartar Sauce.
For those of you who aren’t familiar, catfish is a light flaky fish and when coated in the right batter and paired with tangy homemade tartar sauce, it’s seriously one of the best Southern dishes around. A lot of people fry catfish bone in and tail on but I like to purchase boneless filets because it just makes things easier for me. You can use this recipe with either option.
- For the Fried Catfish
- 5 boneless catfish fillets
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon of whole milk
- ⅓ cup of cornmeal
- ⅓ cup of flour
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1 cup of vegetable oil
- For the Tartar Sauce
- ½ cup of mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon of spicy brown mustard
- 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- ⅛ cup of diced dill pickles
- ¼ teaspoon of dill pickle juice
- Mix together all of the dry ingredients on a plate and set them aside.
- Whisk together the egg and milk on a separate plate.
- Add the oil to a skillet and heat over medium-high heat until bubbly.
- Once piece at a time, dip the catfish fillets into the egg mixture and then into the dry ingredients, making sure the fish is covered completely.
- Once all the fish pieces are battered, add them to the hot oil and cook on each side for approximately 3 minutes per side.
- Once cooked, remove the fish from the oil and drain them on paper towels.
- While the fish are draining, add the tartar sauce ingredients to a bowl and mix them together well. Chill slightly for best results.
- Serve the Southern Fried Catfish with a side of homemade tartar sauce.
This Southern Fried Catfish is so simple to make and doesn’t require much time at all. To start, I whisked together an egg and my milk on one plate and added all my dry ingredients to a second plate. After combining all of the dry ingredients well, I rolled each piece of catfish first in the egg mixture and then in the mixture of corn meal, flour and spices.
I made sure each piece of fish was completely covered in coating and then I added my oil to my pan and heated it over medium-high heat until it began to bubble.
I immediately added my catfish to the bubbling oil and cooked it on each side for approximately 3 minutes, until the crust was golden brown and crispy.
Once my Southern Fried Catfish was cooked perfectly, I removed it from the oil and placed it on paper towels to drain off any excess oil while it cooled slightly.
While my catfish was cooling, I added all the ingredient for my homemade tartar sauce to a bowl and mixed them together well.
While my homemade tartar sauce made and my Southern Fried Catfish perfectly cooked, I served up this delicious fish dish with the tartar sauce on the side.
When the slightly salty, perfectly battered catfish is dipped into the tangy tartar sauce, the end result is a perfect bite of a classic Southern dish that everyone is sure to adore.
Whether you’re a Southern gal like me or just want to try a delicious new fish dish in the coming days, give this Southern Fried Catfish with Homemade Tartar Sauce a try. I guarantee you it won’t disappoint!