Cornmeal Crusted Catfish with Mango Salsa


I’m obsessed with my southwestern-style cookbook here lately. I feel like it’s my go-to book when I’m having mental blockage on recipe-making. Last night I decided to adapt one recipe that I’ve been wanting to make ever since I picked up this amazing cookbook. In their recipe, they used roughy. I don’t know how you all feel about roughy, but it’s definitely one type of fish I choose not to eat very often. We tend to go with whatever is a good price at the grocery store, and whatever looks the freshest and most delicious. Yesterday, it just happened to be catfish. I think some people are afraid of catfish, but it really is a great tasting fish and it was perfect for this recipe because it tends to hold together a little bit better than others when you fry it up in a skillet. I think everyone was pleased with the result of this one, and so was I…although, why wouldn’t I share it with you if we didn’t absolutely love it!? I think that just goes without saying. So anyway…

I feel like this recipe just lets those flavors of Spring/Summer shine!

Fish = summer (to me at least)

Mango = summer

Salsa = summer

Fresh veggies = summer

Do I need to go on?

Yeah I didn’t think so either. You get the picture.

I think that in this recipe it’s important to keep it simple enough to allow for the fresh flavors to shine. There’s no need to overdo it on spices and seasonings. Just keep it simple. That’s why the “batter” for this fish is hardly a batter at all. It’s literally a little bit of flour, a little bit of buttermilk, and a little bit of cornmeal. You need just enough to get a crispy little coating on it. Oh and don’t forget the salt and pepper. Those are two very important little ingredients you don’t want to skip.

Also, this salsa can totally be made ahead of time and refrigerated for a couple of days. In this case the longer you let it sit, the better it’s going to taste. Well, don’t let it sit for 3 weeks. That may not be a the greatest idea in the world, but you get the point right? It’s also great on tortilla chips by the way =).

So, I don’t know if many of you know this, but Colorado produces a mighty fine peach. The Western slope is a haven for peach growers, and they grow some of the most amazing peaches on the planet. Dead serious. We thought that we would go ahead and pair this fish dish with a beer that really celebrates the greatness of Colorado peaches. Odell Brewing’s Tree Shaker is one of a kind. It is an Imperial IPA brewed with those delicious Colorado peaches. Now I know there are no peaches in this recipe (they aren’t in season for another couple of months), but the freshness of this beer is perfect with the freshness of this dish. It’s bright and delicious and perfect.

I don’t think we need any more reason than that, do we?

Happy Hump Day Everyone!


Cornmeal Crusted Catfish with Mango Salsa
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
23 min


  • 2 mangos, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeds and stems removed, diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds and stems removed, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeeze lime juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 catfish filets (or other white fish, such as Tilapia), about 1/2 inch thick
  • salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup coarse ground yellow corn meal
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 cups fresh arugula


  • For the salsa, combine the mango, red bell pepper, jalapeño, onion, cilantro, lime juice and a dash of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Toss together to combine then set aside to allow the flavors to meld together.
  • For the fish, separate the flour, buttermilk and corn meal into three separate shallow bowls. Season the fish generously with salt and pepper, then dip each filet into the flour, then the buttermilk and lastly into the cornmeal. Lay them out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet until you are ready to fry.
  • In a heavy bottomed non-stick skillet, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, gently place the filets into the oil, making sure to not overcrowd the pan. Do in batches if you find they are too squished. Fry for 3-4 minutes on each side or until crispy and just beginning to brown. Remove the fish from the heat and place on a paper-towel lined plate to soak up any excess grease.
  • Serve on a bed of arugula and top with the mango salsa. Enjoy!


Hardware: * Bowls * Spoons * Cutting Board * Sharp Knife * Measuring Cups * Measuring Spoons * Heavy-Bottomed Non-Stick Skillet * Fish Spatula * Paper-Towel Lined Plate * Parchment Paper Lined Baking Sheet *


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