Learn how to fry fish with cornmeal and create the perfect crispy texture!

To fry fish with cornmeal, you will need the following ingredients and utensils:

– Fish fillets (such as catfish, tilapia, or cod)
– Cornmeal
– Salt and pepper (to taste)
– Cajun seasoning (optional, for added flavor)
– Vegetable oil (for frying)

– Large mixing bowl
– Plate
– Large skillet or frying pan
– Tongs or a slotted spatula
– Paper towels

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to fry fish with cornmeal:

1. Start by rinsing the fish fillets under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. This helps to remove any excess moisture, allowing the cornmeal coating to stick better.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning if desired. Mix well to combine the ingredients.

3. Dip each fish fillet into the cornmeal mixture, ensuring that it is coated evenly on both sides. Gently press the cornmeal mixture onto the fish to make it stick.

4. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Make sure there is enough oil to generously cover the bottom of the pan, as this will help the fish fry evenly.

5. Once the oil is hot, carefully place the coated fish fillets into the skillet, being cautious not to overcrowd the pan. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to cook the fish in batches.

6. Allow the fish to cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until it turns golden brown and crispy. Use tongs or a slotted spatula to flip the fish gently, ensuring that the coating doesn’t come off.

7. Once both sides are cooked, remove the fish from the skillet and place it on a paper towel-lined plate. This helps to absorb any excess oil.

8. Repeat the process with the remaining fish fillets until they are all cooked.

9. Serve the fried fish with your favorite sides, such as tartar sauce, lemon wedges, or coleslaw. Enjoy!

Note: Make sure to adjust the cooking time depending on the thickness of your fish fillets. Thicker fillets may require additional cooking time, while thinner ones may cook faster. Always use caution when working with hot oil to avoid any accidents.

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Fried Fish with Cornmeal: A Delicious and Simple Recipe


Craving a flavorful and crispy seafood dish? Look no further than fried fish with cornmeal! This classic Southern recipe combines the delicate flavors of fish with the satisfying crunch of golden cornmeal coating. Whether you’re a seafood aficionado or simply looking to impress dinner guests, frying fish with cornmeal is sure to be a hit. Join us as we delve into the step-by-step process to create this mouthwatering delight.


Before we embark on the cooking journey, let’s gather the necessary ingredients:

– Fresh fish fillets (such as catfish, trout, or tilapia)
– Cornmeal (preferably a fine-grind)
– All-purpose flour
– salt
– Black pepper
– Paprika (optional)
– Buttermilk (or regular milk as a substitute)
– Vegetable oil (or any high smoke point oil)

Step 1: Preparing the Fish

To achieve a perfectly fried fish, start by preparing the fish fillets. Rinse them under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels, ensuring any excess moisture is removed. Cut the fillets into manageable sizes, typically around 4-6 oz each. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper on both sides of each fillet to enhance the flavor.

Step 2: Creating the Cornmeal Coating

Next, it’s time to create the crispy outer layer using cornmeal. In a bowl, combine 1 cup of cornmeal, 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of black pepper. For an extra kick, you can add 1/2 teaspoon of paprika. Mix the ingredients thoroughly until evenly combined.

Step 3: Dredging the Fish

Before dipping the fish into the cornmeal mixture, it’s important to ensure the fillets adhere to the coating properly. Dip each fillet into buttermilk (or regular milk) to moisten the surface. Make sure the fish is coated evenly, allowing any excess liquid to drip off.

Step 4: Coating the Fish with Cornmeal

Now it’s the moment we’ve been waiting for – coating the fish with the cornmeal mixture! Place each buttermilk-soaked fillet into the bowl with the cornmeal mixture, using your hands to press it gently, ensuring the cornmeal adheres to every nook and cranny. Flip the fillet and repeat the process for the other side, making sure it is wholly coated.

Step 5: Frying the Fish

Prepare a skillet or frying pan by heating vegetable oil to approximately 350°F. The amount of oil should be enough to submerge the entire fish fillet. Gently place the fillets into the hot oil, being cautious not to overcrowd the pan. Fry the fillets for about 3-4 minutes on each side until they turn golden brown and crispy. If your fillets are thicker, you may need to extend the cooking time.

Step 6: Draining and Serving

Once the fish has reached a beautiful golden color, remove it from the oil and place it onto a paper towel-lined plate or wire rack. This allows the excess oil to drain, ensuring a lighter and less greasy finished product. Once drained, transfer the fried fish to a serving platter and garnish with lemon wedges and fresh parsley.


Now that you’re armed with the knowledge to fry fish with cornmeal, you can enjoy this delectable and satisfying dish in the comfort of your own kitchen. The crunchy cornmeal coating paired with tender and flaky fish is an irresistible combination that will have your taste buds begging for more. So, gather your ingredients, sharpen your cooking skills, and prepare to indulge in a plateful of fried fish with cornmeal perfection!

FAQs on how to fry fish with cornmeal

1. What is the best type of fish to fry with cornmeal?
– Mild white fish such as cod, tilapia, or catfish work best with cornmeal coating.

2. Should I use fresh or frozen fish?
– Fresh fish is usually recommended for frying as it has a better texture and taste, but frozen fish can be used if thawed properly.

3. How do I prepare the fish before frying with cornmeal?
– Rinse the fish fillets and pat them dry with paper towels. Season them with salt, pepper, and any desired spices or herbs.

4. Do I need to marinate the fish before coating it with cornmeal?
– While marinating can add extra flavor, it’s not necessary for frying with cornmeal. However, you can dip the fish in buttermilk or beaten eggs before coating it with cornmeal for a crispier texture.

5. How do I prepare the cornmeal coating?
– In a shallow dish, combine cornmeal, flour, and your preferred seasonings like garlic powder, paprika, or cayenne pepper. Mix well to create a uniform coating.

6. Can I use a different type of flour instead of cornmeal?
– Cornmeal provides a unique texture and flavor when frying fish. However, you can substitute it with a combination of flour and cornstarch for a similar result.

7. What’s the best method for frying fish with cornmeal?
– Heat oil in a deep pan or skillet to around 350-375°F (175-190°C). Dredge the fish fillets in the cornmeal mixture, ensuring they are evenly coated. Carefully place the coated fish in the hot oil and deep-fry until golden brown and crispy, around 3-5 minutes per side.

8. Can I shallow fry the fish instead of deep-frying?
– Yes, you can shallow fry the fish in a pan with enough oil to cover the bottom. Flip the fish halfway through cooking to ensure even browning.

9. How do I know when the fish is cooked through?
– The fish should be opaque and easily flake with a fork when cooked. The internal temperature should reach 145°F (63°C).

10. What are some common accompaniments for fried fish with cornmeal?
– Popular sides include tartar sauce, lemon wedges, coleslaw, hush puppies, or a side of french fries. Additionally, serving it with a fresh salad or steamed vegetables can add a healthy touch to the meal.

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