Soul food is known as the ethnic cuisine of African-Americans, but there is so much history that follows the term. Originating in the south, this food came about when enslaved African Americans were brought to the United States bringing their culture along with them. 

Soul was a word used to describe African-American culture and then became a term called for “soul food.” Within this category of food are a variety of ingredients and cooking techniques that remain prevalent in the cuisine. The dishes created were a combination of readily available ingredients in America along with traditional native foods.

This is when fried catfish rose throughout Southern America.

Catfish was one of those staple ingredients that slaves from West Africa brought to America. There are tons of catfish species in West Africa, making it a common ingredient to use. It was also an ingredient available along the Mississippi River Valley, which was the area many enslaved Africans were taken to. 

The simplicity of the ingredients and quick frying method made catfish an easy dish to serve to large groups of people, which eventually made it a common dish served at big celebrations and gatherings. 

Since then, it has become an extremely popular dish amongst the soul food scene in Southern America.

The simple recipe includes spiced catfish battered and deep fried to golden perfection and is typically served alongside other soul food staples like collard greens and baked macaroni and cheese. 

The recipe uses little ingredients and can easily be made in the comfort of your home.


  1. In a medium sized bowl, add the filets and coat with all your seasonings. Adjust the amounts based on your preference. Mix thoroughly. 
  2. Optionally, add about a tablespoon of yellow mustard and coat evenly. 
  3. Next, add the buttermilk and hot sauce. Mix again and set aside.
  4. In a shallow dish, add the fish fry and begin to coat all the filets evenly, making sure to coat every side. Repeat until all filets are coated and set aside.
  5. In a pan or skillet over medium heat, add enough oil to a semi-deep fry and let warm up. 
  6. Once ready, add the filets, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Let cook for about 4-5 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked through. Repeat with all filets. 
  7. To serve, pair with some lemon wedges and your favorite hot sauce.
  8. Enjoy!


  • 1-1/5 lbs fresh catfish, cut into small filets
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground paprika
  • 1 tsp creole seasoning
  • 1 tbsp mustard (optional)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2-3 tbsp hot sauce
  • Fish fry, to evenly coat all filets
  • Neutral cooking oil, to fry
  • Lemon wedges and hot sauce (optional), to serve

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