Pan Fried Catfish

Pan Fried Catfish

This method for Pan Fried Catfish is simple to master and is a good starting place for cooking many other types of white fleshed fish.

Pan Fried Catfish 

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Pan Fried Catfish


  • 4 catfish fillets
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup Wondra flour (may substitute all-purpose)
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ½ cup canola oil (or as needed for skillet size)


Rinse and dry the catfish fillets, laying them onto a plate in a single layer. Lightly salt the fillets on both sides and let them sit about 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix the Wondra, paprika, onion powder and celery salt together (an equal measure of Spice Islands Beau Monde mix is a great alternative to the onion powder and celery salt). 

Carefully dry the fillets once again on both sides. Using fine meshed sieve or flour-sifter shake an even amount of the Wondra and spice mixture over all 4 fillets. Gently turn them over and repeat.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a slope sided skillet set over medium-high heat. Once the butter begins to foam, but not yet color, add about ⅓‑inch canola oil. The skillet should be large enough to hold the fillets in one layer, otherwise work in batches (adding more butter and oil as needed).

When the oil mixture is very hot and close to smoking carefully lay the flour and spice coated fillets in the pan. Cook them about 1 ½ to 2 minutes on one side without disturbing them. Then flip them and lower the heat to medium, cooking them another 2 or 3 minutes until the fish is firm and cooked through but not overcooked (it’s alright if they get rather brown). Move the cooked fish to a paper towel lined plate to drain for a moment, Serve hot.