Catfish never used to be considered the makings of a fancy meal, but today, catfish is highly sought after and expensive. Pan-frying the fish properly, however, is something of an art form. Could we develop a foolproof recipe?
Why This Recipe Works
We first chose farm-raised, freshwater fillets for our pan-fried catfish recipe. We cut the fillets down the middle so that each portion had both a thin tail end and a thicker middle, ensuring that each fillet half cooked at the same rate. We also removed the skin and the dark fatty tissue that lay directly underneath it. While the skin wasn’t offensive, the dark fatty tissue was very fishy tasting and unappealing. For the coating for our pan-fried catfish recipe, dusting the fish with flour, dipping it in an egg wash, then dusting it with cornmeal (known as a three-stage or bound breading) produced a crisp, crackling crust that held up long enough for us to serve and eat the fish.