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Robert St. John

Restaurateur, author, enthusiastic traveler, & world-class eater.

Stone-Ground Catfish Curls with Tabasco Tartar Sauce

Catfish always tastes better when the portion size of the fish filets are thinner. Filleting the catfish horizontally and then slicing them lengthwise creating what I call “Curls” accomplishes this task better than anything I’ve found. Find locally milled stone-ground meal and keep it in the freezer. This preparation works when feeding a crowd at a fish fry, too.


1 pound           Catfish Curls

1 1/ 2 cups       Stone-ground Cornmeal

1 /2 cup           Corn Flour

3 Tbsp              Lawry’s Seasoning Salt

3 Tbsp              Lemon Pepper Seasoning

Tabasco Tartar Sauce recipe


Peanut Oil for frying

Heat oil in cast iron skillet to 350 degrees.

To make catfish curls, take 5-7 ounce catfish filets and place them in the freezer until they become half frozen. This makes them easier to slice. Cut the filets in half horizontally (your knife blade should run parallel to the cutting board). This creates a thing filet. Then cut the filet in half lengthwise with the knife blade running perpendicular to the cutting board.

Combine cornmeal, Lawry’s and lemon pepper. Dredge catfish strips in the cornmeal mixture, making sure filets are evenly coated with the cornmeal mixture.

Carefully drop the strips into the fryer in small batches.  Fry until golden (about six minutes), remove, drain and serve.

Repeat the frying process until all the strips are fried. Serve immediately.

Serves 6-8

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