Southerners know that fried catfish is the other white meat!

Southerners love a good “mess” of fish and catfish is a favorite in the South.  Add some hush puppies and coleslaw and you got a mouth-watering meal. I usually fry my catfish in cornmeal but flour is good, too. We like it both ways! Fish always makes a great dish to serve family and friends. You can double or triple this recipe if making a big batch.  Be sure and check out my coleslaw and hushpuppies by clicking on the links provided below or use the search box on any page to find what you are looking for on our site.

Catfish fillets are easy and delicious.

Catfish fillets

Milk or buttermilk


All-purpose flour or can use cornmeal



Garlic powder


This classic is always a winner and wonderful to enjoy with family and friends on a summer day! A big mess of fish is always a good idea! 


Try these with my Southern Cornmeal Hushpuppies and Coleslaw! 

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Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Fried Catfish Fillets

These catfish fillets are absolutely delicious and super easy to make. Add in our wonderful coleslaw and hushpuppies and you have a great summer meal.
Prep Time1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time7 minutes
Total Time1 hour 22 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, southern
Keyword: Fried Catfish
Servings: 6 servings
Author: The Southern Lady Cooks


  • 1 to 2 pounds fresh catfish fillets
  • Milk or buttermilk for soaking
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour or can use cornmeal. I love them both ways
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 cup oil


  • Place fillets in a 9 x 13 pan and cover with milk or buttermilk. Let soak for about an hour in the refrigerator. In a large bowl mix flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. In a smaller bowl whisk eggs until smooth.
  • Remove fish from milk and discard the milk. Dip fillets in egg and then in flour mixture. Make sure you have about 1/2 inch of oil in your skillet. Fry on each side until golden brown; about 6 or 7 minutes.
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Recipe Rating


  1. Shery Sullivan says:

    Catfish is my favorite fish. But really love it all. Anxious to try your recipe.5 stars

  2. The recipe sounds scrumptious! That said, I would urge anyone making this dish to look on the pkg .of fillets to see where they originate/where they were raised. I personally avoid catfish from Asia and esp. from China. I don’t want to sound “political” but they have flooded our markets with their cheap product that has been raised in less-than-favorable and often appalling conditions and in doing so, have put many American catfish farms out of business.

    You are not only what you eat, you are what you eat, eats.

  3. pat baker says:

    I have always used 1/2 flour and 1/2 cornmeal and it makes it really good.

  4. mytimehere46 says:

    deep fried some catfish to night,forgot to get buttermilk and someone had told me that you could use vinegar so I found it on the web.and believe it or not it works so the next time ur going to use buttermilk and don’t have any try this ,boy our cat was good

  5. I have to try buttermilk in my catfish and chicken I know its delicious! what have I been missing!

  6. I used 1/2 cup of regular flour and 1/2 cup of regular corn meal for the crust. I prepped the recipe and my daughter did the rest. She has the, je ne sais quoi, touch for frying, always crispy, never greasy.

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Yes, it should work with just about any fish.

  7. Denise Dufrene Fry says:

    Use mustard instead of milk wash youvwill not taste the mustard but it will cut the fish taste old cajun trick 🙂

  8. Margaux Daniels says:

    If I did want to use cornmeal, would I just use that in place of the flour in this recipe?

  9. Sandra Stinson says:

    Just found this site and have found so many good recipes I want to try. The Georgia Peach loves southern cooking. I have been cooking such I was about 12 years old.

  10. Question: Is that 6 or 7 minutes TOTAL or 6 or 7 minutes on each side?

    1. That is total Mimi. When your fish is good and browned on both sides like in the picture. It should be done.

      1. Thank you!

  11. Looks justlike pork chops! I bet catfish is YUMMY cooked that way!

  12. That looks sooo good! Now I’m craving catfish.

    1. Angel Hall says:

      Can I cook this in coconut oil?

  13. I’ve never fried catfish, but I’ve sure eaten a lot of fried catfish. I love how different cooks use different batters. Cornmeal seems popular here in Arkansas. I like that, but I bet I could finish off that whole plate of yours. The buttermilk and flour approach is wonderful. It’s been too long since I’ve been to Grandpa’s Catfish House!