Mrs. Edie's Southern Fried Catfish

Indulge in the soulful flavors of Southern cuisine with Mrs. Edie's Southern-Style Fried Catfish! This classic Southern fried catfish recipe pays homage to the deep-rooted Southern traditions and vibrant soul food.



  • 1 cup of buttermilk or whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup pickle juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Creole mustard or whole-grain mustard
  • 2 teaspoon Cajun Seasoning Blend
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 gallon peanut oil or vegetable oil
  • 4 (8 to 12 ounce) whole wild-caught catfish, cleaned
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  • Cocktail sauce, for serving

Note: You can use Lousinna Fish Fry instead of making your own breading


  1. In a large bowl, combine the milk, eggs, pickle juice, lemon juice, mustard, Cajun seasoning, and hot sauce. Whisk until well blended. This flavorful liquid mixture will infuse the catfish with a tangy, spicy flavor that's characteristic of Southern cuisine.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, lemon pepper, and salt. Stir together until well combined. This dry mixture will create a crispy coating that's perfect for fried catfish.
  3. Heat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until it reaches a temperature of 350ºF. Peanut oil or vegetable oil are both good choices for frying, as they have a high smoke point and a neutral flavor that won't overpower the catfish.
  4. Dip each catfish fillet into the liquid mixture, making sure to coat it on all sides. This step will help to infuse the catfish with flavor and create a sticky surface for the dry mixture to adhere to.
  5. Next, coat the catfish fillet in the dry mixture, making sure to coat it on all sides. Gently press the mixture onto the fish to ensure that it adheres well.
  6. Place the battered catfish fillets on a tray and chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to let the batter set. This will help to create a firm, crispy crust that won't fall off during frying.
  7. In batches, add the catfish to the hot oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pot. Cook on all sides until golden brown and fully cooked, which should take about 5 to 8 minutes. The oil should be hot enough to create a sizzle when the fish is added, but not so hot that it burns the coating.
  8. Remove the cooked catfish from the oil and place them on a wire rack lined with paper towels to drain. This will help to remove any excess oil and keep the coating crispy.
  9. Serve the fried catfish family-style, garnished with chopped parsley and lemon wedges, and accompanied by your favorite cocktail sauce. Fried catfish is traditionally served with tartar sauce, but cocktail sauce is a tasty alternative that adds a spicy kick.


  • For the best results, use fresh wild-caught catfish. This will ensure that the fish has a fresh, delicate flavor that's free from any off-putting odors or flavors.
  • Don't overcrowd the pot when frying the catfish, as this can cause the oil temperature to drop and result in soggy, greasy fish. Instead, fry the catfish in small batches to ensure that each fillet cooks evenly and stays crispy.
  • You can adjust the level of spiciness in the recipe by adding more or less hot sauce or Cajun seasoning to the liquid mixture. If you prefer a milder flavor, simply reduce the amount of seasoning or omit the hot sauce altogether.
  • To make the Cajun seasoning blend used in this recipe, combine 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 tablespoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Store any leftover seasoning in an airtight container for later use.
  • If you don't have a deep fryer, you can use a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot instead. Just make sure to monitor the temperature of the oil carefully and adjust the heat as needed to maintain a consistent temperature.
  • Leftover fried catfish can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply place the fish in a 350ºF oven for 10-15 minutes or until heated through and crispy.
  • This recipe serves 4 people, but can easily be scaled up or down depending on your needs. If you're feeding a crowd, simply double or triple the recipe and fry the catfish in multiple batches.
  • With its crispy coating and spicy flavor, Southern-style fried catfish is a classic comfort food that's sure to satisfy. Whether you're enjoying it with friends and family at a backyard barbecue or indulging in a solo meal at home, this dish is the perfect way to add a little Southern flavor to your life.