Recipe courtesy of Kardea Brown

Catfish Tacos

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 45 min
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1 cup whole buttermilk

2 tablespoons seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay

2 teaspoons chipotle powder 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound skinless catfish fillets, cut into strips 

1 cup fine yellow cornmeal 

1 cup all-purpose flour 

Canola oil, for frying 

Eight 6-inch yellow corn or flour tortillas 

Limes, quartered, for garnish 

Fresh cilantro, for garnish 

Sliced red onions, for garnish

Fiesta Slaw:

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup Mexican crema (or sour cream) 

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from about 1 lime) 

1/2 teaspoon paprika 

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

2 dashes hot sauce 

2 cups shredded red cabbage 

2 cups shredded savoy or napa cabbage 

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

4 rainbow carrots, grated 

2 green onions, sliced 


  1. For the catfish: Whisk together the buttermilk, 1 tablespoon of the seafood seasoning, 1 teaspoon of the chipotle and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the fish, cover and let soak, refrigerated, for 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. For the fiesta slaw: While the fish is soaking, whisk together the mayonnaise, crema, lime juice, paprika, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Add the cabbages, cilantro, carrots and green onions and toss to coat.
  3. Whisk together the cornmeal, flour and remaining 1 tablespoon seafood seasoning and 1 teaspoon chipotle in a shallow dish or paper bag. Drain the catfish, shaking off any remaining marinade (discard the remaining marinade). Place 3 to 4 pieces of fish in the cornmeal mixture and shake/flip until they are coated. Remove the fish to a clean plate or baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining fish.
  4. Add about 1 inch of canola oil to a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and heat to about 375 degrees F.
  5. Add the fish to the skillet a few pieces at a time. Fry on each side until golden brown all over, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove to a baking sheet with a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining fish.
  6. Toast the tortillas in a cast-iron skillet or over an open flame. Add 2 pieces of fish to each tortilla and top with the fiesta slaw. Serve with lime wedges, cilantro and red onions.