Fried catfish with hush puppies and tartare sauce

Fried catfish with hush puppies and tartare sauce

Deep South
Andy Sewell

Friday and Saturday nights were the times when we ate catfish. The classic accompaniment for fried catfish is hush puppies. The two are as inseparable as fish and chips – in fact they are the Southern equivalent.


Quantity Ingredient
500g white cornmeal
30g see method for ingredients
1 teaspoon sea salt
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
12 catfish fillets, trimmed to separate the belly and loin into long strips

For the tartare sauce:

Quantity Ingredient
125g see method for ingredients
1 egg, boiled for 10 mins, peeled and finely chopped
1 small shallot, finely diced
2 tablespoons see method for ingredients
3 tablespoons tarragon vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped chives
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 dashes tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

For the hush puppies:

Quantity Ingredient
100g fine yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
200g sweetcorn
A pinch sea salt
A pinch freshly ground black pepper
2 egg yolks
100ml buttermilk
1 jalapeno chilli pepper, finely diced
4 egg whites
40g plain flour


  1. Mix together all the ingredients for the tartare sauce and set aside.
  2. To make the hush puppies, mix the cornmeal, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder together in a bowl, then stir in the sweetcorn, salt and pepper. Add the egg yolks, buttermilk and jalapeño and mix well. Leave for at least 5 minutes so the flavours meld.
  3. Meanwhile, mix together the white cornmeal, Creole seasoning and salt. Heat the oil to 175°C in a deep-fat fryer. Dredge the strips of catfish in the cornmeal mixture and drop them into the hot oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Fry until golden brown, then remove, allow excess oil to drain off and transfer to a baking sheet lined with kitchen paper.
  4. Whisk the egg whites for the hush puppies to stiff peaks. Fold them through the batter with a metal spoon, being careful not to knock out the air. Drop tablespoonfuls of the mixture into the hot oil and fry until they are golden brown and floating on the surface. Drain on kitchen paper and serve immediately, with the catfish and tartare sauce.
Southern cooking
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