Fried Catfish Po Boy

Total Time:
2 hr 33 min
30 min
2 hr
3 min

6 to 8 servings

  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 long soft-crusted French bread baguettes
  • 6 (6-ounce) catfish fillets
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup yellow cor meal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Pinch cayenne
  • Sliced pickles
  • 1 recipe Spicy Slaw, recipe follows
  • Hot sauce, for serving
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Pour about 3 inches of oil in a deep fryer or large, heavy pot and heat to 375 degrees F. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the smashed garlic and swirl the pot around to infuse the garlic flavor into the butter. Slice the French bread in 1/2 lengthwise and brush the top and insides with the garlic butter. Stick the bread in the oven for 5 minutes to warm it through.

Season both sides of the catfish fillets with a fair amount of salt and pepper. In a wide bowl, mix the milk and egg together, season with salt and pepper. Mix the cornmeal, flour, cayenne, salt and pepper in a pie dish using a fork. Dip the catfish in the wet batter, then dredge in the dry; being sure to cover the fillets completely. Gently drop the fish in the hot oil in batches so the pan is not overcrowded. Fry the fillets for 3 minutes and then drain on a platter lined with paper towels; sprinkle with salt while they are still hot.

To assemble the sandwich, put the pickles across the bottom 1/2 of the bread, lay the fried catfish on top. Spoon a small mound of slaw on top of the catfish and close up the sandwich with the top 1/2 of the bread. Cut into portions and serve immediately with hot sauce and lemon on the side.

Spicy Slaw:

1 head green cabbage, shredded

2 carrots, grated

1 red onion, thinly sliced

2 green onions, chopped

1 red chile, sliced

11/2 cups mayonnaise

1/4 cup Creole mustard

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 lemon, juiced

Pinch sugar

1/2 teaspoon celery seed

Several dashes hot sauce

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the cabbage, carrot, red onion, green onions, and chile in a large bowl.

In another bowl, mix the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, and sugar; stirring to incorporate. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss gently to mix. Season the cole slaw with celery seed, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Chill for 2 hours in refrigerator while frying the catfish.

Yield: 8 to 10 cups

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