Sunday, April 19, 2015

Cajun Fried Catfish

Farm raised catfish is the largest aquaculture industry in the United States. In 2005, the U.S. catfish industry produced 600 million pounds of catfish from 165,000 pond water acres. The farm-raised catfish industry at $450 million in annual production value has the highest economic value of any aquaculture industry in the United States. The next highest valued aquaculture industry in the country is trout, valued at $74 million in annual production. 

Mississippi produced 350 million pounds, or 55 percent, of all U. S. catfish production in 2005, and Mississippians produced this amount in only 100,000 pond water acres. Since its origin in the 1960s, the catfish industry has grown rapidly and now has an economic impact in the hundreds of millions of dollars in Mississippi each year.

Arkansas, in 1963, was the first state to produce farm-raised catfish on a commercial level. Mississippi was not far behind when its commercial production began in 1965. After 1970, rapid expansion of catfish production in the Mississippi Delta occurred, and Mississippi has led the catfish industry ever since.

Channel catfish, which is ideally suited to a pond environment, quickly became the standard species for commercial use. These fish are hardy, tolerate dense stocking, and thrive in a wide range of environmental conditions. They are easily spawned under proper conditions, yet will not spawn when placed in the grow-out ponds, which gives the farmer control over the production process. Fish newly hatched from the egg, called fry, readily accept manufactured feed and continue to eat feed until they are harvested at a weight of one to three pounds. The catfish’s most important asset is its good taste which drives the demand for this healthy food. The white channel catfish flesh is firm with a mild flavor allowing it to be prepared and seasoned in a number of ways, such as fried, broiled, grilled, or baked.

Years ago catfish farmers would spend hours on the telephone making contacts to sell their fish. They sold mainly to restaurants specializing in catfish, but they also sold to individuals wanting 5,000 pounds or more for fish fries. Winter sales to fish camps were also an sales outlet. Catfish were in demand and were sold to buyers as far away as Illinois and Iowa. They had to transport the fish in haul trucks equipped with aerators that provided oxygen to keep the fish alive. Today, most Mississippi catfish operations sell all their catfish directly to processing plants and no longer have diverse retail outlets.
Research Source: MS History

This recipe was a hit. We loved it... And so will you.
Cajun Fried Catfish
Recipe by Christine Lamb (Christine's Pantry), 2015

4 catfish fillets
salt to taste
1 tablespoon cajun seasoning, more if desired
1 cup cornmeal
1 egg, beaten
oil for frying
In a fryer or deep pot, fill pot halfway with oil, and heat to 350 degrees. Sprinkle each side of catfish with salt and cajun seasoning.
In a bowl add egg. In a separate bowl add cornmeal. Dredge catfish in egg than cornmeal and place in fryer. Fry for 7 to 8 minutes until done. Drain on paper towels. Enjoy!


  1. Sadly we never see catfish for sale here, but I guess this recipe would be good with any firm while fish. Have a good week Diane

  2. The hub is going on a fishing trip in a couple of weeks. I will keep this handy!

  3. Never used cornmeal to bread fish with, sounds so good!

  4. It was once said that catfish was a poor man's sea bass. The texture, meatiness and flavor make it a wonderful fish to fry!

  5. Oh, I could eat my weight in fried catfish and I love your simple recipe!!


Why not leave a comment or a suggestion? Be the first to leave a comment.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...