catfish tenders

by Stevie on August 19, 2011

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“Everything’s better fried.” That, and “save room for dessert” are two of my favorite food sayings from childhood. My mother used to call me “the bottomless stomach” when I was a kid, as I was always hungry! We’d be happily eating away at lunch and I’d be asking what we’d be having for dinner; at dinner, I’d inquire about breakfast; and so on. You get the idea.

catfish tenders

catfish tenders

Mom didn’t fry everything and we didn’t always have dessert (though as I recall, we almost always did.) Usually, she’d buy things like fish sticks in frozen packages. My sisters and I would microwave them with slices of Kraft American cheese, the kind that comes individually wrapped, and eat them in sandwiches with lots of ketchup. It was horrible, really, but just remembering it now makes my mouth water.

I wasn’t really thinking of any of this when I made catfish tenders. It is after eating them that it all came to mind. Funny how memory works.

You could undoubtedly serve these as a fish stick alternative to hungry kids. But adults will appreciate them too.

catfish tenders

1 lb catfish fillets (about four pieces) cut in half the long way
2 eggs
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
3 tbsp parmesan
1 tbsp Aleppo pepper
Salt and black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying

Rinse and pat dry catfish. Beat eggs together with about 1 tsp salt. Put fish into egg wash and let soak while heating oil in a medium sized pan. You’ll need enough oil to almost cover fish.

Mix breadcrumbs, parmesan, Aleppo pepper, black pepper and some salt together in another dish. When ready to fry, immerse fish in breadcrumb mix so that each piece is evenly and fully covered. Gently place fish into hot oil and let fry for a few minutes on each side. Once golden, remove and let drain on paper towels. I did mine in two batches.

Serve with lemon slices, a dipping sauce of your choice or even ketchup. We had ours with fiery habanero sauce.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Heavenly Housewife August 19, 2011 at 1:20 am

Actually I love fish sticks, and these gourmet versions look lovely! Have u ever had fish finger sandwiches? Divine!
*kisses* HH
Heavenly Housewife recently posted..Paris: Le Petit Déjeuner + Croissant ChallengeMy Profile

Heguiberto August 19, 2011 at 8:36 am

We love fried fish sandwiches. I am thinking of those po’ boy sandwiches from New Orleans. They are so good!

Erica August 20, 2011 at 3:49 pm

I love catfish!!!It is very popular in Colombia….they look fantastic!

OysterCulture August 20, 2011 at 6:55 pm

I’ve a grown appreciation of fish sticks and this looks like a much better alternative to anything I’d come up with.
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Karen August 21, 2011 at 2:16 am

Oh let me count the ways of how I love fried catfish! If you ever make it down south, the world’s best fried catfish is served at a restaurant called Middendorf’s, about a 40 minute drive west of New Orleans. I swear it’s so good it will make you cry.
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tigerfish August 22, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Certainly! I will take “anything better fried” 😀
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Magic of Spice August 23, 2011 at 8:38 pm

I love that you used a panko here…these do not look heavy like most I’ve seen, fantastic!
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