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May 26, 2005 05:28 PM

catfish ideas -- please, no deep-frying!

  • b

I picked up a bunch of catfish nuggets which were dirt-cheap, and I'm looking for something to do with them other than bread & deep fry. I was thinking about making a fish stew or gumbo/jambalaya, but I've done that too many times before and would like to try something new. I searched Epicurious, and most of the recipes were whole fish ideas, cajun/creole, or some other variation that involved deep-frying.

Thanks for your help!

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  1. Yum! I love Catfish...

    My ideas are Mexican... you can steam it and make Fish Tacos, or for something really unique, Catfish Enchiladas! Just make a green salsa with Tomatillo (I boil quite a few garlic cloves and chiles, then puree it all with raw onion and cilantro). Lightly fry some Tortillas, dip them in the salsa and roll in cooked catfish!


    1. I've used those catfish nuggets, and while they're just delicious, they have a TON of fat, from under the skin, on them.

      They don't work very well for anything stewed, it gets very oily...Like you, I hate deep frying. But I found they were very good, coated with blackening spices, and pan-fried with a little oil in a non-stick pan...made a great blackened catfish Caesar salad...

      2 Replies
      1. re: galleygirl

        a TON of fat? hmmm, mine don't look too fatty, i certainly hope they're not loaded with fat.

        i'm hoping to find a bunch of ideas for these guys since they range from $1.99-2.99/lb. i love catfish blackened too, but am looking to expand my cooking horizons a little bit. actually, maybe i should've asked for asian recipes, as i would really like to explore this area of cooking. you have some experience here, no?

        1. re: banshee

          I do, and I used the catfish tenders the first time to make Vietnamese Catfish in Claypot, Ca Kho To...I gottah say, they looked fine, but I ended up with way too much fish oil in the dish, it kept it from getting crispey and salty and caramelized....And I LIKE fatty fish.You have to realize, this is the skin and fat-intensive portion they trim off when they're cutting fillets, along with a nice juicey bit of flesh..Broiling would probably work, and any kind of dish that included panfrying, or searing before adding spices or sauce....But braised or slow-cooked didn't work for me...It interfered too much with the other flavors.

      2. Make canh chua -- but if there's a ton of fat on them you may need to cook the fish separately and then drain and add, so you don't end up with an oil slick on your broth.

        1. Have you ever had the North Viet dish called "cha ca"? It's turmeric-coated whitefish (catfish is popular) that is seared and finished by sauteing w/ dill and scallions. It's then eaten w/ herbs, bun (vermicelli noodles), and nuoc cham (dipping sauce). It's a very refreshing summer dish if you like those sorts of flavors.

          There's a recipe linked below that looks exactly like the one in Corinne Trang's "Authentic Vietnamese Cooking." It calls for the fish to be deep-fried, but you can just pan fry or broil instead.

          Another hound, Alice Patis, recently paraphrased her mom's recipe that gives some tips and offers guidelines for a simple nuoc cham.

          The picture below is from Noodle Pie's blog here:
          Scroll down to "frying tonight" for his coverage of cha ca in Vietnam.



          1. You can do a stir fry with the nuggets. Just frist pour hot water over the fish and quickly wash off the nuggets. This will remove most of the grass/muddy taste.

            Blanch some vegtables and stir fry together. Since I do not know where you are and what Aisan vegetables you have. If repost on what you have I will try to give you a more complete recipe.