July 15, 2012

Southern Fried Fish

Remember the first time you saw Twilight and you walked out of the theater in a glittery daze and thought to yourself, man I wonder what's in Harry Clearwater's Fish Fry?


Well, I did.  Not that we have to make ours homemade around here.  We have two awesome seafood breaders readily available in my neck of the woods that are amazeballs... one from House of Autry and one from Adluh.  But I've learned writing this blog that you guys don't always have access to the same things I do so I decided I would try to create a recipe for a fish fry that you could make.  And just in case the zombie apocalypse knocks out my two favorite mills, I'll have a backup plan for frying fish.

There was really only one flavor that I was sure about, and that was onion powder.  I've picked up on that for sure over the years but I wasn't really sure what else was in there.  I took a glance at the House of Autry Seafood Breader package and the only spice/flavor/herb/seasoning mentioned at all was.... ta-da.... onion powder.

I decided against garlic and after sniffing most of my spice cabinet, settled on a pretty basic lineup.  I heated the grease, dredged the fish, fried it up and.... fell in love.  Serve with a big basket of homemade Hush Puppies for an authentic Southern fish fry experience.

Southern Fried Fish
2 pounds white fish*
Salt and pepper
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup hot sauce
2 cups South Your Mouth Fish Fry

Heat a minimum of 4 inches of oil in a deep skillet or wide pan to 350 degrees (medium-high heat).  Season fish with salt and pepper.  In a medium bowl mix buttermilk and hot sauce.  Dip fish, one piece at a time, in buttermilk mixture and shake off all excess liquid. Dredge fish in fish fry and immediately add to hot oil. Cook until golden brown and remove to a plate or pan lined with paper towels.

South Your Mouth Fish Fry
1 1/2 cups medium ground cornmeal**
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 teaspoons paprika

Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight container.  Use for frying fish or shellfish.

*Use any flaky, white fish (crappy, bream, catfish, tilapia, flounder, etc.).  I actually used swai fillets.  I had no idea what swai was but it was only a few bucks for a 2-pound package at Aldi so I thought... meh? If you like catfish, you will LOVE swai.  I found it to be almost identical to catfish sans the musky taste.  Plus is wicked cheap.  Holla!

**If using self-rising cornmeal, increase amount to 2 cups and omit flour.


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  1. Now that's what I'm talkin' about! Can't beat Southern style fried fish. The picture is gorgeous!

    1. Thanks! Gotta love my professional set-up which consists of turning on every light in my kitchen and grabbing my phone to snap a shot!

    2. As long as you never use the flash! I'm with Jackie, that looks fabulous and now I'm starving. And I just finished eating breakfast!

    3. Meg is correct. Nevah evah use flash. Keep doing what you're doing.

  2. These look awesome. Think I'll need to give them a try!

    1. Thanks! Let me know how it turns out if you decide to give it a try!

  3. My mom used to fix fried catfish with grits and collard greens. We made hush puppies alot when ever we had
    black eyed peas.

    1. I almost always have a pot of grits with fish (whether it's fried, baked, etc.). I'm so bad about it that I once made fish sticks for the onions and they looked at me and asked, "Where's the grits???"

  4. Try some creamed corn mixed with the hot sauce, instead of buttermilk!! Doesnt sound good, but there is a restaurant here in Mississippi that uses it. It is awesome!!!! That is now an important ingredient when frying fish.

  5. oh yes, we used to make corn fritters like that.. so good.. I love this sight, am glad I found it..

  6. Well I was looking for a baked fish recipe, but OMG this just looks amazing. Can't wait to make it on Friday!!

  7. A Kansas Boy in CaliApril 9, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    Lately I've taken to buying swai or basa, because I love the flavor and texture, and because it is so much more affordable than channel catfish, or other American catfish. Because they grow fairly large, they are usually sold as boneless fillets.
    Both swai and basa are species of pangasius catfish, from southeast Asia. Just like with American catfish, depending on water clarity, the type of river or lake bottom, and the fish's diet, the flavor can range from very mild to slightly muddy or musky. Usually, it's very mildly flavored, though.
    Recently, I've been using a fish fry that's a seasoned mixture of cornmeal and corn masa flour. The South Your Mouth Fish Fry is closer to what I normally use. It sounds delicious, and I'm eager to try it.

  8. Is the texture crunchy? I always cook extra so I can have leftovers with grits the next morning. Nothing better than crunchy fish in grits.
    When I get catfish, I soak them in milk for about an hour - tastes fresh caught and no muddy musky flavor. I also lightly salt/pepper bare fish before dipping or breading. Just the way my granny did it.
    Can't wait to try this, maybe this weekend!

    1. It's crunchy when you first make it but I doubt it would still be the next morning. I LOVE me some fish and grits!!!

  9. I also use peanut oil for frying.

  10. Hi Mandy, I see it's been close to a year since your last comment so I guess you are due for another. :)
    I FINALLY made this tonight. I've been going to for a long time and just never got around to it. ANYWAY... I was a little worried hubby wouldn't like the "Spice" since he has a 2 year old's heat sensor. :( Anyway he LIKED it! That's saying a lot since he isn't even a big fan of fish anyway! Myself, on the other hand ate my share and someone Else's too. HA HA I LOVED IT! Can't wait for leftovers tomorrow for lunch with my daughter! :D

  11. Daughter prepared fried oysters on our week-at-the-beach Gulf vacation. Being a Southern beach-lover for 50 years, these were the MOST FABULOUS fried oysters ever - thanks to your very tasty SYM Fish Fry recipe. Served them as appetizers - hot off the stove.

    - Laurie

  12. Sherri, I'm SO happy to hear that! Thank you for letting me know!

    Laurie, GURL! You got me wanting oysters now! That sounds delicious!!


Hi there! While I'm not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven't been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments. And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y'all! - Mandy

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