Cornmeal Crusted Catfish with Creole Sauce

A crispy cornmeal coating is a great way to seal in the tender, moist texture of catfish fillets. The accompanying Creole-style tomato sauce is easy to make and its zesty flavor is a perfect complement for the fish.

Cornmeal Crusted Catfish with Creole Sauce

Cornmeal Crusted Catfish with Creole Sauce

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Served with a spicy Creole-style tomato sauce, these easy-to-make catfish fillets are tender and moist and have a crunchy cornmeal coating.


  • 4 catfish fillets, 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 lbs
  • 1 egg, large
  • 2 tablespoons milk, or buttermilk
  • 1-1/4 cups cornmeal
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil

For the Creole Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 green bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch, 4 to 5 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • Hot sauce
  • Pinch of sugar, optional
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 350° F and line a shallow baking pan with foil.
  • In a shallow dish, whisk together the egg and milk. Combine the cornmeal, 1-1/2 teaspoons salt and a few grinds of black pepper on a large plate or sheet of wax paper. Dip each catfish fillet into the egg mixture, drain off the excess, then coat thoroughly with the cornmeal.
  • Add about 1/8-inch of oil to the bottom of a large frying pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add the catfish fillets and cook until the coating is crisp and lightly browned, 1-1/2 to 2 minutes per side.
  • Transfer the fish to the prepared baking pan and place in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • While the fish finishes in the oven, make the sauce. Wipe out the pan, add the butter and melt over medium heat.
  • Add the green pepper and sauté until softened, 3 to 4 minutes, then add the garlic and scallions and continue cooking for an additional 1-1/2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Stir in the tomato sauce and add hot sauce to taste (see notes below). Add a pinch of sugar if desired and continue cooking for an additional 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Plate individual servings of fish and transfer the sauce to a serving bowl to pass at the table.

Tips for Making This Recipe

  • Frank’s Red Hot is our favorite hot sauce for this dish. We generally go easy on the heat so we start with just 3/4 teaspoon and work up from there.
Calories: 343kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 29g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 141mg, Sodium: 101mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 2g
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