Arkansas, known for its rich culinary heritage, brings you a classic dish that showcases the region’s love for freshwater fish. Crispy and golden on the outside, tender and flaky on the inside, this fried catfish is a true delight for seafood enthusiasts. The secret lies in the flavorful coating, made with a combination of cornmeal and spices, which lends a delightful crunch and a hint of Southern charm to every bite. Join us as we take you through the steps to create this mouthwatering Arkansas Fried Catfish, a dish that embodies the warmth and comfort of Southern cuisine.
- 4 catfish fillets
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- In a shallow dish, combine the cornmeal, all-purpose flour, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Mix well to evenly distribute the spices.
- Rinse the catfish fillets under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels.
- Dredge each catfish fillet in the cornmeal mixture, ensuring both sides are well coated. Press the coating gently to adhere it to the fish.
- In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat until it reaches a temperature of 350°F (175°C).
- Carefully place the coated catfish fillets in the hot oil, making sure not to overcrowd the skillet. Fry for 3-4 minutes per side, or until the fish is golden brown and flakes easily with a fork.
- Using a slotted spatula, transfer the fried catfish fillets to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.
- Serve the Arkansas Fried Catfish hot, accompanied by lemon wedges for a burst of citrus flavor.
- Pair with traditional Southern sides like coleslaw, hush puppies, or creamy mac and cheese for a complete Southern comfort meal.