Cornmeal Fish Fry Seasoning Recipe
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Cornmeal Fried Fish – A classic Southern recipe that doesn’t need any batter. Simply coat your favorite white fish in a flavorful cornmeal seasoning and fry golden in under 10 minutes!
Why We Love This Recipe
Nothing says “Southern” quite like a basket of cornmeal-crusted fried fish.
Crunchy on the outside, flaky and moist on the inside, fried catfish or cod (or grouper) is a guaranteed mouth party. And the secret to a perfect piece of fish is, of course, a perfect breading!
Our Cornmeal Fish Fry Seasoning recipe is loaded with bold seasonings, and not much else… There’s no need for eggs or buttermilk, or dunking the fish in sticky batter. This simple cornmeal-based fish fry seasoning thoroughly coats the fish for a delicious golden crust every time!
To make the Fish Fry Seasoning you need:
- Yellow cornmeal
- Flour (could be GF)
- Celery salt
- Garlic powder
- Lemon pepper
- Dried parsley
- Cayenne pepper
For the Cornmeal Fried Fish:
- White fish fillets – cod, grouper, or catfish
- Cold water – or beer
- High heat cooking oil – vegetable, peanut, or canola
Quickie Swap! Mix the cornmeal and flour with approximately 5 teaspoons of Cajun Seasoning.
How to Make Southern Fried Fish with Cornmeal Seasoning
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F to act as a warmer. Set out two mixing bowls and a paper towel-lined sheet pan.
Set a large deep cast-iron skillet on the stovetop. Pour cooking oil into the skillet, filling up to 1 inch. Turn the heat to medium.
In one mixing bowl (or pan), combine the cornmeal, flour, herbs, and spices. Mix well.
In the second bowl, pour in very cold water (for a gluten free recipe) or a light crisp beer. Place the fish fillets in the cold water or beer.
When the oil in the skillet is hot, take one fillet out of the liquid at a time. Dredge the fillet in the Fish Fry Seasoning.
Get the Complete (Printable) Cornmeal Fish Fry Seasoning Recipe Below. Enjoy!
Gently lower the cornmeal coated fillets one at a time into the hot oil. Repeat 2-4 times until the skillet is full.
Fry the fish for 2-4 minutes per side, until golden brown. Thin fillets will only need 2 minutes per side, while thicker fillets will need up to 4 minutes per side. Repeat with a second batch, if needed.
Place the fried fillets on the prepared pan and place them in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining fish fillets.
What to Serve with Fried Fish
Serve warm with your favorite dipping sauces, like homemade Remoulade Sauce or Tartar Sauce.
Pair crunchy fried fish fillets with nearly any Southern side dishes. A few of our favorites include:
- Perfect Southern Collard Greens
- Homemade Mac and Cheese
- Cold Macaroni Salad
- Southern Wilted Lettuce Salad
- Corn Pudding Souffle
- The Best Potato Salad
How to Make This a Gluten-Free Recipe
This can easily be made GF by using gluten-free baking mix instead of flour.
Storage and Reheating Suggestions
Cornmeal-crusted fish is best when enjoyed freshly fried. However, leftovers will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Seal in an airtight container, like a zipper bag, to keep the fish fresh and your fridge from smelling like, well, fried fish.
Reheat leftovers in a 350 degrees F oven for 10-15 minutes, flipping the fish over halfway through the time.
For the crunchiest fillets, I recommend air frying leftovers: Preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees F, then cook for 5-6 minutes until hot and crispy.
Here are More of Our Favorite Seasoning Recipes for You to Try:
- Easy Adobo Seasoning Recipe
- The Best Steak Seasoning Recipe
- How to Make Italian Seasoning
- Best Ever Blackened Seasoning
Cornmeal Fish Fry Seasoning
For the Fish Fry Seasoning –
- ½ cup yellow cornmeal
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour or gluten free baking mix
- 1 ½ teaspoon celery salt or plain salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
For the Cornmeal Fried Fish –
- 1 ½ pounds cod grouper, catfish (about 6 fillets)
- 12 ounces cold water or beer
- High heat cooking oil vegetable, peanut, canola
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F to act as a warmer. Set out two mixing bowls and a paper towel lined sheet pan. Set a large deep cast iron skillet on the stovetop. Pour cooking oil into the skillet, filling up to 1 inch. Turn the heat to medium.
- In one mixing bowl or shallow pan, combine the cornmeal, flour, herbs, and spices. Mix well.
- In the second bowl, pour in very cold water or a light crisp beer. (Water for GF.) Place the fish fillets in the cold water.
- When the oil in the skillet is hot, take one fillet out of the liquid at a time. Dredge the fillet in the Fish Fry Seasoning, and gently lower into the hot oil. Repeat 2-4 times until the skillet is full.
- Fry the fish 2-4 minutes per side, until golden brown. Thin fillets will only need 2 minutes per side, while thicker fillets will need up to 4 minutes per side. Repeat with a second batch, if needed.
- Place the fried fillets on the prepared pan and place in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining fish fillets.
Making this recipe? Follow us on Instagram and tag @ASpicyPerspective so we can share what you’re cooking!
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This is a great recipe! I love the gluten free adjustments because it made it perfect for me! No sacrifice of taste or flavor either.
We use this all the time, it’s amazing! Thanks so much!
I love how it turned out! Thanks for the gluten-free alternative!! This is a new staple at my kitchen!