Perini Ranch Fried Catfish

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Finely ground cornmeal will give you a nice crunchy texture; coarsely ground cornmeal tastes gritty. If you prefer a lighter texture, try 2 cups of cornmeal and 2 cups of flour. This recipe is adapted from Texas Cowboy Cooking by Tom Perini.

6 servings

Cooking Methodfrying



Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Mealdinner, lunch

Taste and Texturecrunchy, savory


  • Vegetable oil
  • 6 catfish fillets (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons seasoning salt
  • 3 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder


  1. Pour 2 inches of oil into a large skillet and heat to 325°F.

  2. Cut the fillets lengthwise into manageable pieces. In a shallow bowl, combine the milk, egg, and seasoning salt. Combine the cornmeal, flour, cayenne, black pepper, salt, and garlic powder in a pie plate or cake pan.

  3. Dip each catfish fillet in the egg mixture, then coat with the seasoned cornmeal. Shake the excess meal from the fish, then slowly slide the fillets into the hot oil and fry for about 6 minutes, or until the catfish floats.

  4. Cut into a thick piece to test for doneness. The fish should be flaky white and cooked all the way through.

  5. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately.


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