This cornmeal fried catfish is better (and healthier) than Long John Silver's!

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A perfect Southern meal often includes fried fish, particularly catfish. This dense, meaty fish can be found in Southern and BBQ restaurants all over the country. Now, you can make your own fried catfish filets right at home, which can be ready in just 30 minutes. Coating the catfish in flour and cornmeal gives a light, flavorful crust that pairs perfectly with the meat.
The recipe that follows features a simple, traditional method of frying catfish. Once the fish is fried, you can choose to eat it as is, use it on a po' boy sandwich, or serve it alongside your favorite BBQ side dishes. Transform it into an appetizer by cutting the fish into 1-inch pieces and making catfish bites. The crispy-fried coating will definitely have everyone coming back for seconds. Don't overcrowd the fryer, because this will bring down the temperature of the oil and make the fish soggy.
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Cooktop Cove
Southern Cornmeal Fried Catfish
4 to 6
35 minutes
12 minutes
47 minutes
2 pounds farm-raised catfish filets, whole or cut into strips
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup water
3 cups fine cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
Vegetable oil for deep frying
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
Heat vegetable oil in a deep fryer or stockpot to 365 F.
In a large bowl, add the buttermilk, water, salt and pepper. Mix to combine.
Place the catfish in the buttermilk mixture, and allow to marinate while you prepare the crust, up to 30 minutes.
In another large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour and Old Bay seasoning. Mix to combine.
Remove each piece of fish from the buttermilk marinade individually, shaking off any excess marinade.
One by one, place each piece of fish in the cornmeal mixture on both sides, coating each piece. Shake off any excess coating.
Slowly drop a few pieces at a time into the oil in the deep fryer, avoiding overcrowding. Allow fish to deep fry until golden brown on all sides, about 3 to 4 minutes. Fish is cooked when it floats to the top of the oil.
Remove each cooked piece and allow to drain on paper towels.
Serve each filet individually, or portion out fish sticks. Garnish with extra Old Bay (optional), and serve hot.
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