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Texas Fried Catfish

Tom Perini | September 7, 2016

According to recipe author Tom Perini, catfish is one of the few things openly accepted by ranchers and cattlemen as an alternative to beef. “Catfish can be found in most every river, lake, and pond in Texas, and we all grew up fishing for them," he says.


Before battering the fish in this recipe, cut them in half lengthwise for the perfect fish-to-cornmeal ratio.

Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
6 minutes
texas catfish


  • 6, 5-7-ounce catfish fillets
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons seasoning salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Vegetable oil (enough that the fish can be fully submerged)


  1. Slice each fillet in half lengthwise. In a shallow bowl, combine the egg-dip ingredients and mix well. On a large plate, combine the ingredients for the seasoned cornmeal. 
  2. Heat enough oil so that the fish fillets will be submerged in a 7 Quart Dutch Oven over medium-high heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  3. While the oil heats, dip the catfish fillets one at a time in the egg dip, coating each piece fully and letting any excess drip off. Dredge each piece in the seasoned cornmeal, coating it completely. Shake off any excess.
  4. When the oil is hot, carefully slip the fillets into the oil without crowding them (you may have to fry them in batches). Fry until the fillets float to the top of the oil, about 6 minutes. When the fish is ready, the meat will be flaky. Transfer them to a wire rack to drain. 
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Contributed By: Tom Perini
Tom Perini is the owner of the Perini Ranch Steakhouse in Buffalo Gap, Texas. 


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