Catfish have long been known to be a Southern delicacy. You might have been enjoying it if you’re from or visiting the southern United States. Catfish are delicious, but most people don’t know how to cook it!You can sauté thick pieces in butter or a flavorful marinade. You can also bake them or fry them. You can even make a pizza with catfish! As with any kind of eating, cooking fish meals is as simple or complex as you want to make it. Read on for a beginner’s guide to cooking catfish.
Selecting and Cleaning the Catfish
When selecting a catfish, make sure it appears healthy and has clear and bulging eyes. The gills are deep pink, and the flesh is firm with a mild odor. Clean the catfish as soon as possible after catching it.
Simply use a spoon to scrape the scales off the fish in a downward motion. Using scissors, cut along the belly of the fish and remove the guts. Finally, cut off the head and discard it.
When finished, rinse any remaining scales and guts off in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Now your fish is ready for cooking.
Flavorings and Seasonings for Catfish
Beginners can start off by seasoning their fish with sea salt, garlic powder, and paprika. This combination will create a great foundation of flavor for the fish. Once you’re more comfortable in the kitchen, you can try experimenting with other seasonings, such as lemon pepper, thyme, and oregano.
If using fresh herbs, be sure to sprinkle them on top directly before serving. Catfish pairs well with a variety of sauces such as BBQ, Remoulade, and others. These sauces can be added to the fish before cooking or after. Creamy sauces, such as Alfredo, pair well when served with catfish.
Experimenting with different combinations will help you find the ones you enjoy the most. Looking for quick and easy fish recipes or catfish dishes to prepare? Make sure to check out the best fried catfish nuggets here.
Choose Your Cooking Method
Catfish can be cooked in a variety of ways, including frying, baking, grilling, and broiling. Frying is done by seasoning and flouring the fish before coating it with cornmeal and adding it to hot vegetable oil. Baking requires you to place the fish in a shallow baking dish, season it and then bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
Broiling does not require flouring or added oil, but you will have to brush the fish with butter or oil before broiling for 8 – 10 minutes. Additionally, grilling catfish is very popular. This is done on a hot-oiled grate for about 10 minutes.
Regardless of the cooking method, it is important not to overcook the fish as this could lead to it tasting dry and tough. When the catfish is just cooked through but still moist, this is when it is best.
Tips for Cooking Catfish Perfectly
Catfish can be an easy and delicious addition to anyone’s cooking repertoire! This dinner classic can become an easy and impressive main course with the right seasoning, ingredients, and cooking methods. Try your hand at cooking catfish and enjoy the delicious results!
Did you find these tips and tricks useful? If so, check out some of our other posts for more recipes and tips.