Cornmeal Crusted Catfish

October 01, 2018

Mark Bittman wrote up how to cook White Fillet a Dozen Ways in broad steps and this is my take on one of his preparations. I’ve added paprika and a little more oil to the recipe, and I recommend using a softer whitefish like catfish for this recipe. He also doesn’t provide timing for this method, but I found it can cook quite fast so you will want to make sure you don’t overcook the fish. I recommend using a slotted fish turner to flip the fish carefully without breaking the cornmeal crust.

As I’ve been trying to eat more whole grains in my diet, this is a great recipe using cornmeal which is gluten free and a good source of dietary fiber.

  • 2 servings
  • 5 mins
  • 10 mins
  • 15 mins
  • Ingredients

    • 3/4 pound catfish fillet
    • 1 cup cornmeal
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • 1 tablespoon chili powder
    • 8 oz. buttermilk
    • parsley
    This recipe can be suitable for the following restricted diets:
    • Low Gluten



    1. Cut the catfish fillets crosswise into 4 inch pieces.
    2. Soak the catfish fillets in buttermilk while you finish other preparations.
    3. Combine the corn meal, paprika, chili powder, and a dash of salt and black pepper. You can also mix in some of the parsley, finely minced.
    4. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a cast iron skillet on medium heat until the butter melts.
    5. Take a piece of the catfish fillet out of the buttermilk and dredge it in the cornmeal mixture so it is coated evenly on both sides.
    6. Gently lay the fillet in to the hot oil in the pan. Repeat with the remaining pieces of fish, but be careful not to crowd the skillet. If necessary these can be cooked in batches.
    7. After about 4 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish), use a slotted fish turner to flip each fillet carefully. Cook for another 4 minutes, or until the fish fillets gently flake with a fork.
    8. Serve immediately with extra parsley for garnish. You can serve this over arugula or a heartier vegetable like collard greens. You can also add a squeeze of lemon juice.

    This recipe was adapted from:

      Written by Will Chiong who lives and works in New York building useful things.