My mother made catfish on Fridays as part of her weekly rotation of dishes. I was always amazed by the crispiness of her fish. She let it sit in cornmeal for about 5 minutes—a technique I use today. Excerpted from Soul by Todd Richards. Copyright © 2018 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Meredith Corporation. New York, NY. All rights reserved.


Credit: Victor Protasio

Recipe Summary

30 mins
30 mins
Serves 4


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine the buttermilk, Worcestershire sauce, Hot Sauce, granulated garlic, granulated onion, and 1 teaspoon each of the salt and black pepper in a large bowl or large ziplock plastic freezer bag. Add catfish pieces; cover or seal, and refrigerate for 2 to 8 hours.

  • Whisk together the cornmeal, cayenne, remaining 3 teaspoons salt, and 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper in a shallow dish or pie pan.

  • Heat the oil in a skillet over medium.

  • Remove the catfish from the buttermilk mixture, and dredge in the cornmeal. Let stand 5 minutes.

  • Fry the catfish (large pieces first), in batches, until golden brown 5 to 7 minutes per side. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Serve with hot sauce.


If using boneless catfish, this dish can be served as a sandwich with lettuce and Chive Aioli

Serve With

Other fried foods; braised green, breakfast, potato, egg, or bean dishes; green or tomato salads

Suggested Pairing

Chardonnay, dry Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, amber beers, dark beers, hard ciders, IPAs