Here’s a faux fried catfish recipe that’s not fried, but tastes just as good as fried catfish –and with a whole lot less mess. I use saltine crackers for the breading, but panko bread crumbs are a great substitute. And catfish tastes best with tartar sauce, so throw together a little tartar sauce, too; it’s super easy.
Not Fried Catfish Recipe Ingredients:
1 lbs. CATFISH
½ cup CORNMEAL
½ cup FLOUR
2 cups SALTINE CRACKERS (crushed)
SPICES…whatever you like
…in this video I use:
1 tsp PAPRIKA
1 tsp GARLIC POWDER
½ tsp CAYENNE PEPPER
1 tsp OREGANO
1 tsp THYME
1 tsp SALT
1 tsp BLACK PEPPER
and for the TARTAR SAUCE RECIPE:
1 cup MAYONNAISE
about 1/3 cup SWEET RELISH
1 tsp PICKLED JALAPENO (minced)
1-2 Tbsp JALAPENO PICKLING SOLUTION
(or sub lemon juice for the pickling juice)
Not Fried Catfish Recipe Directions:
Catfish and tartar sauce are like Ying and Yang, so first things first, make the tartar sauce.
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sweet relish, jalapeno slices, and a little of the pickling solution. Ideally you do this a day ahead of time, or at the very least, a few hours; it’ll have a lot more flavor. Not a fan of jalapeno peppers?
Leave the peppers and pickling juices out, and substitute lemon juice instead.
Mix well and refrigerate.
In a bowl, crush the saltine crackers (or sub your favorite bread crumbs). Add the corn meal, all-purpose flour, and whatever spices and herbs you love.
The combo I use in this video is super tasty. Sometimes I use curry powder, which tastes fantastic, and also adds great color because of the turmeric. Whatever spices you use, be generous; catfish should be super flavorful!
Remember, whatever spice you use will be balanced by the creamy tartar sauce.
On a baking sheet, generously coat the catfish with olive oil. Coat both sides of the fish, and the pan. Dredge the fish in the breading, coating both sides.
Coat the fish well, and press the crumbs into the fish. Place on the baking pan and cook in an oven preheated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cook until the fish is well-colored and bounces back when pressed. The fish in this video cooked for 45 minutes, but the pieces were quite large.
Fried catfish, and this not quite fried catfish recipe, goes great with coleslaw, greens, and hush puppies. I’m usually too lazy to make all of that; often I’ll just serve catfish with coleslaw and garlic toast, but however you serve it, it’s a nice catfish course, and pretty easy to make.
Give this faux fried catfish recipe a try and let me know what you think…and bon appétit!
And for a classic catfish dinner side dish, try this Coleslaw Recipe.