Catfish Nugget Recipe

Catfish nuggets meal on white plate


Serves 6

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Louisiana hot sauce
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 pounds of catfish, skin and bones removed and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Oil (if frying)


  1. Preheat a deep fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit or preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with a wire rack.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, baking powder, mustard, and hot sauce.
  3. In another medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, smoked paprika, sea salt, Old Bay seasoning, and black pepper.
  4. In a third bowl, put the flour.
  5. Dip the catfish into the flour and tap off any excess. Then, dip it into the buttermilk mixture and then into the cornmeal mixture, tapping off excess coating.
  6. Place each piece on the wire rack until all pieces are coated.
  7. Deep fry the catfish in the hot oil until it is golden brown and floats, about four minutes. Drain on paper towels. Alternatively, arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven until the coating is golden, 12 to 15 minutes.

Variations and Serving Suggestions

You can also vary the recipe.

  • You can shallow fry by heating one inch of oil in a pan and cook on high about 3 minutes per side.
  • For a spicier catfish, add a pinch of cayenne (or up to 1/4 teaspoon) to the cornmeal mixture.
  • Serve with French fries and a veggie, or with mashed potatoes and a salad.
  • Serve with homemade tartar sauce on the side.
  • For a less spicy catfish, omit the Louisiana hot sauce and reduce the smoked paprika to 1 tablespoon.
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Catfish Nugget Recipe