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Cornmeal for Fish Fry Recipe

Southern cornmeal fried fish is the best when you are hosting a fish fry. I will tell you the best cornmeal for fish fry and seasonings to add for a lot of flavor. Make spicy or keep mild if you like. An easy way to fry seafood in a skillet or deep fry at home.

Cornmeal for Fish Fry

Southern fried fish expects this ingredient, is the most common coating out there. You can add whatever seasonings you love into the breading mix, and can even make it spicy if you’d like. Crunchy fried fish in a pan or deep fried with catfish, halibut, salmon or any variety of seafood you love. (post may contain affiliate links present)

Cornmeal Fried Fish

Cornmeal is a type of ground dried corn also known as maize that is commonly used in cooking to make various dishes, particularly in Southern and Latin American cuisine. It comes in different textures, ranging from fine to coarse, and comes in two different colors too.

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Ground corn that has been dried is a versatile ingredient that can be used in both savory and sweet dishes, adding a distinct corn flavor and a pleasing texture. You may have used it to make the typical Southern Dish Often Made with Buttermilk and Cornmeal, but we will open your eyes to so much more here.

Fish Fry Cornmeal

Fish Fry Cornmeal

There are two types out there for the main ingredient, and they are different colors. I will talk about this in depth, the differences below, but at the end of the day there isn’t a huge difference. If you only have white on hand use that, don’t go to the store and spend $ to change. 1 cup of cornmeal, yellow is used plus;

  • 2 lbs. fish cut into finger sized pieces
  • Fish Fry Seasoning is made by adding;
  • 1/2 c all purpose flour
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper depending on heat level desired
  • Lemon pepper
  • 3 tsp celery salt
  • Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Old Bay
  • Salt and pepper
  • oil for frying too

If you want it super crispy the kitchen hack for that is to add a few tablespoons of cornstarch! Yes, I know that may be surprising but it will suck out a bit more moisture on the outside and get crunchy as ever that way. Sometimes we do that with our pan Pan Fried Swai Fish.

  • In a shallow bowl mix together cornmeal, flour and all seasonings. In a skillet heat oil over medium high heat until it reaches how hot oil should be to fry food.
  • One at a time blot fish pieces with a paper towel, season lightly with salt and pepper and then coat the fish inside the bowl full of your cornmeal mixture.
  • Coat on both sides so each piece is completely coated all the way around.

Set inside hot oil and cook until golden brown on both sides, will take 2-3 minutes on each side depending on how thick they are. You want thickest part of center is flaky white inside and crispy outside before serving. Set on paper towel lined plate when done to absorb excess oil and serve.

Cornmeal Fried Fish
cornmeal fried fish

White or Yellow Cornmeal for Frying Fish

Let’s talk about white vs. yellow cornmeal in the aspect of frying fish, and the choice between the two often comes down to personal preference and regional tradition. Of course there will be a difference in appearance and darker is typically the most common, and what you would expect to see but here are a few other aspects to think about;

  • Texture – White cornmeal tends to have a finer texture, which can result in a smoother, less gritty coating on the white fish. It can create a lighter and more delicate crust.
  • Flavor – White typically has a milder flavor compared to yellow. It allows the natural flavor of the fish to come through more prominently.
  • Color – If you prefer a lighter color for your cornmeal crusted fish fillet coating, or making Hot Water Cornbread, white cornmeal will yield a pale, golden crust.
  • Yellow cornmeal is coarser in texture, which can result in a thicker and crunchier coating on the fried fish. It provides a heartier texture.
  • This color has a slightly sweeter and more pronounced corn flavor than white. It can add a bit of extra flavor to the coating.
  • It imparts a deeper golden or amber color to the fried fish recipe, creating a more visually appealing crust.

Ultimately, the choice is a matter of personal taste. Some people prefer the light and delicate texture of white, while others enjoy the heartier crunch and slightly sweeter flavor of yellow. You can experiment with both to see which one you prefer or even use a combination of the two for a unique texture and flavor profile.

Frying Fish with Cornmeal
cornmeal pan fried fish

Frying Fish with Cornmeal

Should you deep fry or pan fry fish? That is the question right? Deep frying typically produces a very crispy and evenly browned exterior due to the fish being fully submerged in hot oil. This method is great for getting a crunchy crust BUT you will lose a bit of your breading in the process AND it can be less healthy due to the higher oil absorption.

Pan fried uses less oil compared to deep frying. You only need enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan, which can make it a healthier option. It also offers more control over the cooking process. You can monitor the fish closely and adjust the heat as needed to prevent overcooking. The biggest difference for me is you won’t lose any of the outside seasonings, it will sear right on!

There is in fact a 3rd choice, our Oven Fried Fish, but the texture is different than either of these. The healthiest option you can get crisp with a spray of olive oil if you want to try them all.

Cornmeal Fried Fish

Ultimately, the choice between deep frying vs pan frying fish depends on your preferences and the specific dish you want to create. Deep frying is ideal for a restaurant-style result, while pan frying offers more control and can be a healthier option with less oil. Consider the type you’re cooking, your equipment, and the overall meal you want to prepare when making your decision.

White or Yellow Cornmeal for Frying Fish

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Cornmeal for Fish Fry
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Cornmeal for Fish Fry

Cornmeal for fish fry is delicious. With seasonings and heat if you want it spicy. You can make pan fried cornmeal fried fish or deep fried.
Course Entree
Cuisine American
Keyword cornmeal, fish fry
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 439kcal
Author The Typical Mom

Equipment

  • 1 skillet
  • 1 shallow bowl

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a shallow bowl mix together cornmeal, flour and all seasonings. In a skillet heat oil over medium high heat until it reaches 360 degrees before adding food.
  • One at a time blot fish pieces with a paper towel, season lightly with salt and pepper and then dip into cornmeal mixture on both sides so each piece is completely coated all the way around.
  • Set inside hot oil and cook until golden brown on both sides, will take 2-3 minutes on each side depending on how thick they are. You want thickest part of center is flaky white inside and crispy outside before serving.
  • Set on paper towels when done to absorb excess oil and serve.

Video

Nutrition Facts
Cornmeal for Fish Fry
Amount Per Serving (2 oz)
Calories 439 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 113mg38%
Sodium 1875mg82%
Potassium 876mg25%
Carbohydrates 44g15%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 52g104%
Vitamin A 71IU1%
Vitamin C 0.2mg0%
Calcium 40mg4%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Recipe Rating




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