Cornmeal Fried Catfish with Rémoulade

Based on Chow’s recipe


  • ½ cup finely ground yellow cornmeal
  • ½ cup cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 pounds catfish fillets, cut into 3- to 4-ounce strips
  • Lemon wedges
  • Rémoulade


  1. Whisk cornmeal, flour, cayenne, paprika, salt, and pepper in a bowl, then spread the mixture on a shallow plate.
  2. Heat vegetable oil over medium heat in a 12-inch cast iron skillet to 350°F.
  3. Line a plate with several layers of paper towels; set aside.
  4. Use a paper towel to blot the fish pieces dry, season on all sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then dredge in the cornmeal mixture, being sure to cover all sides. Tap fish pieces lightly to shake off excess.
  5. Fry fish in batches, turning once, until deep golden brown and crisp on the outside with a flaky interior, about 6 minutes total.
  6. Remove fish from the pan with a slotted spatula to the paper-towel-lined plate to drain. While the pieces are still hot, season them well with salt. Serve with lemon wedges and rémoulade.

Note: Try using other kinds of flour, especially corn flour.


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