Catfish with Lemon Caper Sauce

That broccoli came from the land of giants

When I moved to Arkansas from San Diego — I know, odd choice — I soon found that well-priced fresh fish were almost non-existent. Sure it was available “freshly” frozen or at a price far north of $15 a pound but even those choices were extremely limited in this landlocked state — unless you were looking for catfish.

Did you know Arkansas is one of the top producers of catfish? Neither did I until moving here. Fish fries and all-you-can-eat buffets practically litter the roads. Even one popular upscale restaurant with a renowned chef features the bottom feeder on its menu. They of course call it Mississippi Sole to keep you guessing.

It may not have a high-class reputation, but catfish is very versatile. The texture is firm, the meat is not too oily and the flavor is quite mild making it ideal in almost any fish dish.

I came up with this quick recipe through trial and error and it has become one of the go-to weekday meals. It is fancy enough to serve to guests as well. Any mild white fish will work in this recipe. If you can’t find capers packed in salt use the type packed in brine but try and strain the liquid first. The shallot and shitake mushrooms can be substituted with red onion and any type of mushrooms you like.

Cornmeal Crusted Catfish with Lemon Caper Sauce

For Fish

  • 3 whole catfish
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • ¼ cup grated Romano
  • Salt/pepper

Fillet catfish. Remove the tenders and chop fine, set them aside for the sauce. In one bowl crack egg and whisk with wine. In another bowl mix flour with salt and pepper to taste. In a third bowl mix cornmeal, sage, parsley, Romano, salt and pepper. Take each catfish fillet and dredge in flour. Let the fillets sit for five minutes. Melt a tablespoon of butter sprinkled with olive oil in a frying pan big enough to hold all fish in one layer. Once the fish begins to absorb the flour, dunk in egg bath and then dredge in cornmeal mixture. Quickly place in frying pan and repeat with the other fillets. Cook on medium high until fish is cooked, about 2-3 minutes per side. Place on a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

For Sauce

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp capers packed in salt
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 2 shitake mushrooms sliced paper thin
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup dry white wine

Melt butter in frying pan over medium heat. Add shallot and sauté until softened. Add mushrooms and brown. Add fish tenders and sear. Add capers and lemon juice. Turn heat to high and cook until lemon juice is reduced by half. Add wine and deglaze pan. Cook until reduced in half. Serve over fish.

About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
This entry was posted in Dinner, Food, Recipes, Seafood and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Catfish with Lemon Caper Sauce

  1. karencooking says:

    I was excited to see you had a catfish recipe because I love catfish. But what’s funnier is part of the reason I love catfish is because my family is from Arkansas – my favorite place in the world. I visit my parents there every year . . . and yes, I have catfish at least once while I’m there! Always a treat because you can’t get it up north where I live. So thank you for posting! The whole Arkansas angle made my day!

  2. kelseymeg says:

    oh my, this looks great. lemon/capers/wine is one of the best combinations! yum!

  3. Pingback: Catfish with Lemon Caper Sauce | Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide | Rome Travel Student

  4. Lotta's ullisar says:

    This looks just delicious and has a name to go with it. I’ve never had catfish, I’m not sure we got it where I live.

  5. WALSTIB says:

    do you have an opinion on farm-raised vs. “wild-caught” Catfish?

  6. Babygirl says:

    My family are southerners and to them catfish was the best of the best. I grew up on this fish and I absolutely love it! I don’t care what anybody says, that fish packs some flavor and is wonderful to eat. So you know I love this recipe Rufus.

  7. Nadia says:

    lovely recipe, I love catfish. The way you prepared it with lemon, shallots, and white wine is a favorite preparation of mine, almost like a piccata.

    what prompted the move to Arkansas?

  8. Carolyn Chan says:

    I live in Singapore and they don’t produce anything, being a tiny island, but you’d think we’d be able to get access to Catfish from our neighbours like Thailand. This looks gorgeous though and I will definitely try it with the white fish we can get in my supermarket. Thanks !

  9. Pingback: Sugared Asparagus « karencooking

  10. Pingback: Jacksonville Jaguars: Catfish Sandwich Recipe | sportsglutton

  11. Judy says:

    Fish is so quick and easy, we like it for weekday meals too. Looks delish, giant broccoli and all!

  12. Pingback: Sunday Suppers: Southern Style | Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

  13. A_Boleyn says:

    I don’t know when I last had catfish unless you count the fish generically labelled “basa” as a type of catfish. In any case, the cornmeal coating and lemon sauce sound like a great treatment. I’ll have give it a try soon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.