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Best Southern Fried Catfish Recipe

  • Author: cooks with soul
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: deep fry
  • Cuisine: southern


This Southern Fried Catfish has a crispy golden brown cornmeal crust and is seasoned to perfection with fish fry seasoning. Serve it with spaghettired beans and ricecoleslaw, and a slice of white bread for a tried and true down home southern meal.


  • 2 pounds of catfish filets
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • oil for deep frying (preferably vegetable or canola oil)
  • 3/4 cup yellow mustard

Fish Fry Seasoning:

  • 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1/3 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/3 teaspoon granulated garlic


  1. Clean and trim catfish filets.
  2. Combine cornmeal, Old Bay, lemon pepper, salt, pepper, and granulated garlic in a shallow bowl; set aside until ready to use.
  3. Place catfish in a separate large bowl and add mustard and hot sauce—toss filets in mustard mixture to coat evenly on all sides.
  4. In a large fry pan or deep-fryer, heat oil to 350° F. 
  5. While the oil is coming to temperature, dredge the catfish filets in the cornmeal seasoning mixture.
  6. Once the oil is heated to the correct temperature, fry fillets in batches for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until the fish flakes easily with a fork and the internal temperature reads 145° F.
  7. Carefully remove fried catfish from hot oil with a slotted spoon or spatula, set it on a wire rack over a paper towel, and cool for 5 minutes before serving.


Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container. Reheat in an oven to maintain crispiness.

Keywords: southern fried catfish, fried catfish, fried fish, mustard fried catfish, cornmeal, fish fry