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How to cook catfish?

I'm making seasoned catfish filets for dinner. They are fresh and were seasoned in the seafood department. I was thinking of baking for 15 minutes at 350. Is this about right? I have 2 6oz.filets.

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  1. Maybe it's because I grew up in the south, but baking catfish just doesn't seem right. They're already seasoned, so just sprinkle with salt and lightly dredge in flour (or a 50/50 mix of flour and cornmeal). Put about 1/8 inch of oil in a moderately hot skillet. Cook on one side til golden brown, then turn over and cook the other side. Usually takes 2-3 minutes per side, but make a small cut and make sure the middle is not still translucent before taking it off the heat.

    1. Yes, "catfish" goes with "fried". But you only need 2-3 tbsp of oil! I flour the fillets, dip in milk, and then crumb with a mix of 1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs, 2 tbsp cornmeal, 2 tbsp grated parmesan, 2 tbsp ground pecans. Serve topped with 1/3 cup chopped pecans. One of mah only suthn' dish-eys, ahhn y'all know ahm no suu thun er.

      1. I dip in milk and bread with cornmeal, straight up. Fry in just a few tbsp of oil and you're good to go.

        1. My kid brother, whose inventions generally run to stuff like Bologna Salad, just for grins did a sautée of catfish with beurre noir and declared it wonderful. And HE lives in Nashville! I did not ask if he floured it first, but that would be my strategy - just S&P all over, drag it through the flour and shake off the excess, then into hot butter. Probably 2 minutes per side for fillets, then remove to a heated platter, add more butter to the pan and whisk until it goes brown (I know "noir" means black, but if it goes that far wipe it out and start again) and add a splash of white wine, lemon juice or vermouth, toss in some capers, give it another whisk or two and pour it over the fish.

          1. I grew up with fried catfish, but these days I prefer it sauteed or broiled. Just brush with a little melted butter, squeeze some lemon juice over, sprinkle with salt and pepper (you may not need more s&p if they were pre-seasoned), and saute in a little olive oil or broil until slightly crispy around the edges and golden.

            1. I've had lovely steamed catfish in Chinese restaurants. Also had it stir-fried with green vegetables.

              1. Living in North Carolina I can't even begin to think about baking catfish. There are some seafood fillets that go very well with baking, but catfish "tain't" one of them. I use a North Carolina product called "House Autry" seafood breader. It is a wonderfully light breader with just the right amount of spice to it. I simply dredge in the breader 1st, than in milk, than back into the breader. A couple tablespoons of oil in a skillet and your good to go. I don't recommend using butter for this. The smoking point is way to low for butter and it tends to burn so much easier than oil.......ENJOY....OBX

                4 Replies
                1. re: obxspiritdreamer

                  House Autry would be right. What I also do is rub the filets with Tabasco, then dredge in cornmeal mixed with red and black pepper, then shallow-fry in a cast iron skillet. Serve with plenty of lemon wedges.

                  1. re: obxspiritdreamer

                    My girlfriend and I just moved to NC, and I stumbled upon this thread in search for baking times for catfish. Despite how unorthodox it may seem (we don't eat fried foods), we baked the nuggets with a couple tablespoons of coconut oil, lemon juice and peels, red onion, and 1/4 c. spicy brown mustard. 20 minutes @ 350° and we were very satisfied.

                    1. re: heyimdro

                      I know you know this, but catfish 'nuggets' are the belly of the fish. A by-product of the fileting process. Their flavor can sometimes can be a bit stronger and their texture is different than the filet itself. Nuggets are usually less expensive.

                      There's nothing wrong with baking catfish...nor broiling, nor stir frying, nor grilling, nor making an etouffee, a courtboullion (coo-be-yon) a creole, etc, etc, etc, I've even eaten it on pizza!! Of course fried is darn goo too!!

                      Have Fun and Enjoy!!

                      1. re: Uncle Bob

                        I did not know that about the nuggets, Uncle Bob. Thanks for the info and the encouragement!

                  2. i'm a northerner, so unless somebody else is making me fish and chips, i never fry fish at home. i prefer stove-top cooking for fish.

                    thin filets of mild whitefish i just make a quick mix of white wine and butter with some shallots and herbs and gently sautee/semi-poach the fish. it comes out very moist.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                      Just a question as a non-southerner. In my approach above, I use a couple of tbsps of oil to (from my point of view) fry the fish. I almost never deep fry, which to me is, of course "deep frying". Is my "frying" the same as your "stove-top cooking"?

                    2. For all the Non-southerns who wish to eat catfish, but are not interested in flouring and frying the fish in oil, I have a healthy alternative that keeps the fish moist and delicious. I marinate the fillet in a mix of olive oil and cajun seasonings overnight. I then lay it on top of a little more olive oil, and sprinkle a little extra cajun with some roasted garlic and then bake in the over at 350 for about 10 - 20 mins, until it flakes easily. It is delicious.

                      1. I dip in buttermilk and then a 50/50 cornmeal and flour mix and then deep fry in lard until it's lightly brown. So crispy and yummy. It only takes a few minutes.