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Flour/Corn Meal Ratio When Frying

I'm looking at some different pan fried catfish recipes and the ratio of flour to cornmeal varies. Some use more flour, others more corn meal, and some are even.

How do the differences affect the end result (flavor, crispiness, etc.)?


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  1. I once had a neighbor knock on my door offering me an entire tub of freshly filleted catfish....probably thirty fillets.

    I immediately opened my go-to Cajun/Creole cookbook and made the best catfish I've ever tried. Chef Folse's recipe is:

    Prep Time: 30 Minutes
    Yields: 6 Servings

    Deep-frying seafood is still quite common in the South. High quality vegetable or peanut oil should be used. Corn flour is a double-ground yellow cornmeal that can be found in the gourmet section of most food stores, possibly sold as a pre-packaged fish fry.

    Ingredients for Batter:
    1 egg
    1 cup skim milk
    ½ cup water
    ¼ cup yellow mustard
    salt and cracked black pepper to taste
    granulated garlic to taste
    Louisiana hot sauce to taste

    In a 1-quart mixing bowl, blend all ingredients. Set aside

    Ingredients for Frying:
    3 pounds catfish fillets
    vegetable oil for deep frying
    4 cups seasoned fish fry
    granulated garlic to taste
    salt and cracked black pepper to taste
    cayenne pepper to taste

    Using a cast iron pot or home-style deep fryer such as a FryDaddy, heat oil to 375°F. In a large mixing bowl, season fish fry if necessary with granulated garlic, salt and peppers. Dip catfish in egg batter and then in seasoned fish fry, shaking off excess. Fry a few pieces at a time until golden brown and beginning to float. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove fish from oil and set on paper towels to drain. Continue until all fillets are done. Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce such as tartar sauce or cocktail sauce.

    1. So sorry....just realized that this recipe does NOT answer your question.

      I'll try to find the proportions for 'Seasoned Fish Fry".

      1. .75C of fine yellow corn meal
        .5C of AP flour
        Season to taste

        Hope this helps.

        1. I find 1/3 cornmeal to 2/3 flour works best. 50/50 is too grainy / gritty for my taste.

          However, I much prefer 100% corn flour if you can find it. Bob's Red Mill sells it.

          1. If you can finely ground cornmeal, I would use 100% cornmeal. This would emulate the packaged fish fry mixes.

            If you only have regular cornmeal, like Albers, I would use a 66% to 75% ratio of cornmeal to flour. As mentioned above, 100% cornmeal can be a little too gritty. You can try pulsing in a coffee grinder or a blender. I've had varying success trying to create fine cornmeal from average supermarket cornmeal.

            2 Replies
            1. re: dave_c

              I agree, I don't care for the gritty cornmeal for either fish or oysters. Fine ground cornmeal is pretty easy to find without having to do it yourself.

              1. re: Veggo

                Me three. I put the cornmeal in the vitamix for a few seconds to refine it.
                All things being equal..I prefer batter. Finer texture and lightness.

            2. I was raised on White Lily or Martha White cornmeal on fish. So I would say 100% cornmeal.

              I've tried the several commercial 'fish fry' (corn flour) products here locally.....they are OK by themselves...better if mixed 50/50 or more with cornmeal. Zatarain's is one popular label.

              Currently I use cream meal, as do most restaurants, fish houses, etc here. Probably not an option for you however, unless you are a very serious fish frier.

              If you are left with just flour and meal, do your best to find/use CORN flour...not wheat flour. Start with a 75/25 meal to flour blend and adjust accordingly to your taste.

              I know of no one.. friends or relatives in Louisiana, or Mississippi that uses a batter to fry fish.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Uncle Bob

                What's cream meal? Is that farina/cream of wheat? That actually sounds like a good alternative to cornmeal.

                1. re: Uncle Bob

                  I'll vote with Uncle Bob. My family is all from Louisiana and east Texas. We use just straight cornmeal, seasoned very simply. The fish are usually fresh out of the lake, though. They are wet from being cleaned and the cornmeal sticks. Deep fry in peanut oil hot and fast.

                  1. re: arashall

                    How about those crunchy catfish tails!