Oven-Fried Catfish and Celery Slaw

Enjoy a summertime staple on a weeknight with this simple supper

Oven-Fried Catfish and Celery Slaw
Makes 4 Servings
  • 2 cups whole buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper, divided
  • 3 teaspoons smoked paprika, divided
  • 4 (3- to 4-ounce) catfish fillets
  • 2 cups fine yellow cornmeal
  • ½ cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • ¼ cup rice flour
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges
  • Celery Slaw (recipe follows)
  • Lemon wedges, to serve
Celery Slaw
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 (10-ounce) package shredded green cabbage
  • ½ cup thinly sliced celery
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onion
  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
  1. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine buttermilk, cornstarch, hot sauce, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and 1 teaspoon paprika, mixing until combined.
  2. Add catfish to buttermilk mixture, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 425°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a wire rack over parchment in pan.
  4. In a separate resealable plastic bag, combine cornmeal, bread crumbs, rice flour, Old Bay, remaining 1 tablespoon salt, remaining 1 teaspoon pepper, and remaining 2 teaspoons paprika; shake to combine.
  5. Remove catfish, 2 pieces at a time, from buttermilk mixture, letting extra drip off. Place in cornmeal mixture and shake bag to coat. Place on prepared pan at least 1 inch apart. Repeat with remaining catfish. Discard any remaining buttermilk and cornmeal mixtures.
  6. Spray catfish liberally with cooking spray on both sides. Bake until golden brown and crispy, 15 to 25 minutes. Serve immediately with Celery Slaw and lemon wedges.
Celery Slaw
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, black pepper, paprika, sugar, and celery seed. Add cabbage, celery, green onion, jalapeño, and parsley, stirring until well coated. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 hour. Garnish with parsley, if desired.


A Second Helping: Catfish Fried Rice

With Catfish Fried Rice, a few bold aromatics will transform this Southern classic.

  1. In a nonstick pan over medium-high heat, add sesame oil. Add chopped leftover fried catfish fillets with cooked jasmine rice, minced garlic, and minced ginger.
  2. Cook until rice begins to crisp, and toss with soy sauce. Serve with sliced green onion and sesame seeds.