Sometimes you just aren’t in the mood for cornmeal coated catfish. If you want to change things up on your next fishing trip, pan-fried parmesan-crusted catfish will do the trick.
This recipe is very easy to make. Just a simple dredge in your dry ingredients, then a few minutes in some hot oil and you’re done.
Two Tips for Frying Parmesan-Crusted Catfish
First, to reduce the fishy flavor of the catfish, soak it in whole milk or buttermilk for about an hour.
The proteins in the milk bind with the compounds in the fish that make it smell funny, leaving behind clean smelling fish.
Second, when putting your catfish fillets in your hot oil, lay it away from your body. This way, if it splashes, it will splash toward the back of the cookstove instead of your belly (or worse).
This recipe goes nicely with a batch of hot water cornbread and a cucumber-buttermilk salad. You can fry the cornbread in the same pan as the fish (I would do the cornbread first while the fish is soaking), and the cucumber-buttermilk salad can be made with some of the buttermilk you brought along to soak the fish (fresh buttermilk, not the buttermilk that had the fish in it).
Parmesan Crusted Catfish
- 1 cup Parmesan – (finely grated)
- 3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup All-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp. Morton's Kosher Salt
- 1/2 tsp. Black pepper
- 2 cups Whole milk or buttermilk
- 1/2 cup Vegetable oil
- 3 tbs. Butter
- 1 tbs. Lemon juice – (more for serving)
- 2 lg. Eggs
Before You Leave Home
- Mix panko, flour, parmesan, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper thoroughly and put into a zip-top bag.
At the Campsite
- Place fish in a zip-top bag or container with two cups of milk. Be certain that it is fully submerged. Let soak for one hour.
- Heat butter in pan until melted, then pour into dry ingredient mixture. Add lemon juice. Mix very thoroughly.
- Pour vegetable oil in your cast iron skillet and heat to 350-375 degrees.
- Remove fish from milk and pat dry with paper towels.
- Beat eggs in a separate bowl with a fork or whisk.
- Wet fish fillets in egg then dredge in the panko mixture.
- Carefully place fish fillets in hot oil, starting near your body, then laying away from it.
- Cook each side for about 3 minutes, until it is dark golden brown.
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