Lemon Pepper Fried Catfish

Lemon Pepper Fried Catfish is a flavorful and satisfying dish that brings together the zesty brightness of lemon, the bold kick of black pepper, and the tender, flaky goodness of catfish. This Southern-inspired culinary creation is a celebration of contrasting tastes and textures, making it a favorite among those who appreciate the harmony of savory and citrusy flavors.

The dish typically starts with catfish fillets, which are generously coated in a seasoned mixture that includes a blend of ground black pepper, salt, and often a hint of cayenne for an added touch of heat. The fillets are then infused with the vibrant essence of fresh lemon juice, imparting a refreshing and tangy note that cuts through the richness of the fish.

The coating process not only imparts robust flavors but also contributes to a crispy and golden exterior when the catfish is expertly fried to perfection. This method ensures a delightful contrast between the crunchy outer layer and the moist, tender interior of the catfish fillets.

Whether enjoyed as a family meal, a centerpiece for gatherings, or a comforting solo indulgence, Lemon Pepper Fried Catfish showcases the artistry of combining simple yet vibrant ingredients to create a dish that captures the heart and soul of Southern cuisine. With its bold flavors and satisfying crunch, this dish is sure to leave a lasting impression.


For the Catfish:

  • 4 catfish fillets
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For Garnish:

  • Fresh lemon wedges
  • Chopped fresh parsley


1. Marinate the Catfish:

  • Place catfish fillets in a shallow dish and cover them with buttermilk.
  • Allow the catfish to marinate for at least 30 minutes, ensuring they are well-coated.

2. Prepare the Breading:

  • In a separate bowl, combine cornmeal, all-purpose flour, lemon pepper seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper.
  • Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly to create the breading mixture.

3. Coat the Catfish:

  • Remove catfish fillets from the buttermilk, allowing excess liquid to drain off.
  • Coat each fillet in the prepared breading mixture, ensuring an even and generous coating.

4. Fry the Catfish:

  • In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
  • Carefully place catfish fillets into the hot oil, cooking for approximately 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown and crispy.
  • Use a slotted spatula to transfer the fried catfish to a paper towel-lined plate, allowing excess oil to drain.

5. Garnish and Serve:

  • Arrange the Lemon Pepper Fried Catfish on a serving platter.
  • Garnish with fresh lemon wedges and a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley.

6. Enjoy:

  • Serve the Lemon Pepper Fried Catfish immediately while hot, savoring the crispy exterior and tender interior, heightened by the citrusy brightness of lemon pepper seasoning.

This Lemon Pepper Fried Catfish is a delightful twist on the traditional Southern favorite, offering a burst of flavor that tantalizes the taste buds. Whether served as a main course for a family dinner or showcased at a festive gathering, this dish promises a satisfying and memorable dining experience.

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