Split catfish filets in half lengthwise and pat dry with paper towel. Place filets on wire rack.
Season fillets lightly with AP and King Craw on both sides and air dry for 10-15 minutes.
Add cornmeal to a gallon size ziplock bag and season with 1/2 Tablespoon AP and 1/2 Tablespoon of King Craw. Shake to combine.
Add filets to the seasoned cornmeal and toss to coat. Shake off excess in the bag and place back on wire rack. Work in batches not to over crowd the bag. Let the filets air dry again for 10-15.
Prepare a deep fryer with peanut oil for frying at 350-375°F. Drop filets a few at a time in the hot oil and fry for 8-10 minutes or until frying slows and the filets float to the top. Don’t overcrowd the fryer of the fish can stick together.
Drain the filets and place on a baking sheet lined with butcher paper.
Serve hot with plenty of tartar sauce, lemon wedges, and hot sauce.
Frying catfish really is easy, it’s all about technique. For starters, you want smaller, thin filets of catfish to start – so your catfish cooks evenly and is crispy.
Next you need to let the catfish filets dry really well – using a rack works best. The more moisture you can remove from the catfish, the crispier you will get the fish when it fries.
Next comes the seasoning… I like to add a base layer of salt & pepper and then top that lightly with a cajun seasoning. For this recipe, I’m using my Killer Hogs AP Seasoning and Malcom’s King Craw – but you can use any all purpose seasoning or any cajun seasoning you like. Just make sure to go light when seasoning these catfish filets.
After seasoning, it’s time to bread this fish. I like to keep it dry and simple here… I take 2 cups of cornmeal, place it in a ziplock bag, season it with my AP and King Craw and mix it together really well. Then you can add 2-4 fillets to the bag, shake the bag and then place your lightly breaded catfish back on the rack to dry for another 15 minutes before frying.
Now comes the easy part – drop your catfish in 350-375 oil (I like to use peanut oil) and fry for around 8 minutes. You can tell the catfish is done when the frying slows down and the fillet floats to the top. Just don’t overcrowd the pot while frying your fish – it’s best to work in batches.
And that’s it! Let the fish drain and serve it up with some homemade tartar sauce (recipe below)… this is how you cook perfectly fried catfish!
Tartar Sauce Recipe
Combine all ingredients in a bowl until incorporated, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving. The sugar does not make the tartar sauce sweet, but it does give it balance (but can be omitted for a sugar-free option). Tartar sauce can be kept up to a week in the refrigerator.
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