Fried Catfish Sandwich

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 6 hr 30 min (includes soaking time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 2 servings
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2 catfish fillets

4 cups buttermilk 

2 cups cornmeal 

1/2 teaspoon cayenne 

1/2 teaspoon celery seed 

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

2 kimmelweck or kaiser rolls 

2 cups canola oil 

1 cup store-bought coleslaw or homemade Celery Root Slaw, recipe follows

8 slices store-bought or homemade Bread and Butter Pickles, recipe follows

Celery Root Slaw:

4 large carrots, peeled

1 large celery root, peeled

2 large red onions, thinly sliced

1 cup good quality store-bought mayonnaise

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon toasted caraway seeds

1 teaspoon sugar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bread and Butter Pickles:

6 cups thinly sliced cucumbers

1 pound yellow onions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup sea salt

2 cups brown sugar

2 cups apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon celery seeds

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds

2 cloves


  1. Soak the fish in the buttermilk for at least 6 hours and up to overnight.
  2. Season the cornmeal with the cayenne, celery seed and some salt and pepper. Toast the buns in the oven or a hot dry skillet.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Remove the fish from the milk, and then dredge in the seasoned cornmeal, pressing down to ensure an even coating of breading. Shake off any excess cornmeal.
  4. Pan-fry the fish until golden brown, turning once, about 2 minutes per side.
  5. To assemble the sandwiches, place each piece of fish on a bun bottom. Top each with some slaw and 4 slices pickles, then finish with the top bun.
  6. Enjoy the magic you just made.

Celery Root Slaw:

  1. Using a food processor fitted with the grating attachment, shred the carrots and celery root to achieve slaw-like, julienned pieces.
  2. Combine the carrots, celery, onions, mayonnaise, vinegar, caraway and sugar in a large non-reactive bowl. Mix well until fully incorporated, and then season with salt and pepper. Chill in refrigerator until cold, 1 hour.
  3. Will keep in the fridge for 5 days, stored in an airtight container.

Bread and Butter Pickles:

  1. Place the cucumbers and onions in a bowl and toss with the salt. Marinate the vegetables for 3 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the sugar, vinegar, celery seeds, turmeric, mustard seeds and cloves. Bring to a boil, then continue cooking for 5 minutes.
  3. Rinse off the marinated vegetables in cold water, and then add to the infused vinegar. Bring the vinegar back to a boil and then remove from the heat.
  4. Cool and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Best if used within 2 weeks.