Arkansas Fried Catfish Recipe

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


  1. 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.
  2. Rinse the catfish fillets under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels.
  3. Dredge each catfish fillet in the cornmeal mixture, ensuring both sides are well coated. Press the coating gently to adhere it to the fish.
  4. In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat until it reaches a temperature of 350°F (175°C).
  5. 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.
  6. Using a slotted spatula, transfer the fried catfish fillets to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.
  7. Serve the Arkansas Fried Catfish hot, accompanied by lemon wedges for a burst of citrus flavor.
  8. Pair with traditional Southern sides like coleslaw, hush puppies, or creamy mac and cheese for a complete Southern comfort meal.

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