Clean and wash the catfish, rinsing thoroughly. Using a sharp knife, partially fillet both sides of the catfish as follows: cut straight into the fillet until the bone stops the knife, then turn the knife in and cut along the bone for about 2 inches, leaving a loose flap of fillet. Make as many of these incisions as it takes to cover both sides of the fish. Season fish and set aside.
Combine dredging flour ingredients on a large plate and mix thoroughly. Set aside.
Combine sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk together to blend. Set aside.
Using a turning slicer, cut the carrot and beet into long strands. Rinse out the beet. Strain and add to carrot and drizzle with sesame oil. Peel, seed and cut tomatoes into large dice and set aside.
Set fryer to 350 degrees. Dredge catfish in the flour. Shake off excess flour. Place catfish in a fryer basket, folding in the tail so that it curls away from the fish. Cook for about 12 minutes. To check doneness, lift one of the flaps cut in the fillet. If it comes clean off the bone, the fish is cooked. Allow fish to rest for a couple of minutes and transfer to a platter. Using a knife, cut through each flap and dislodge each from the carcass -- thereby finishing the filleting process. Ladle sauce over the entire fish. Sprinkle diced tomatoes and scallions. Put a dollop of pickled ginger on the nose and garnish with beet and carrot noodles as well as toasted sesame seeds. Serve immediately.
Recipe courtesy of Holyfield’s New South Grill