Catfish With Chili Cornmeal Crust Recipe

Catfish With Chili Cornmeal Crust Recipe

The catfish in this recipe can be substituted with walleye fillets. (Photo courtesy of Chef Lucia Watson)

Serve this crusted catfish recipe with your choice of topping – a sweet pepper, corn and bacon relish or a creamy horseradish sauce

The sweet pepper, corn & bacon relish is a classic with any fried fish, particularly during summer, when corn and peppers are fresh and super-sweet. Horseradish Sour Cream Sauce is another good choice.

Serves: 1-2
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

Catfish Ingredients:

  • 2 (8-ounce) catfish fillets, rinsed in cold water and patted dry
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • ½ cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, bacon fat or an inch of oil

Sweet Pepper, Corn & Bacon Relish Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sliced green, red and yellow peppers
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 3 slices bacon, finely diced
  • 2 ears corn (slice kernels off cobs), about 2 cups
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives

Horseradish Sour Cream Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Salt and pepper


  1. To prepare the catfish, combine cornmeal, flour, chili powder, salt and pepper. Dip each fillet in lemon juice then the cornmeal mixture, carefully dusting each side of the fillets.
  2. Heat the fat in a heavy-bottomed skillet until it just starts to smoke. Put the fillets in the fat and cook about 5 minutes until golden brown.
  3. Turn fillets and continue to cook about 5 minutes on the other side. If deep frying, cook the fillets without turning, about 7 to 8 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Remove fish and set aside to garnish.
  5. To make the relish, place bacon in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook until the fat starts to render and the bacon gets crispy.
  6. Immediately add peppers, onion and corn. Cook over high heat stirring constantly, until the veggies are still crispy but warmed through. Add herbs and taste for final seasoning.
  7. To prepare the horseradish sour cream sauce, mix all ingredients and set aside.
  8. Top the recipe with your choice or horseradish cream sauce or sweet pepper, corn and bacon relish.

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