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Southern Fried Fish

Southern Fried Fish

 Fried fish in the south is a different affair from the fried fish and chips in Great Britain (that fish has Jewish roots). Southern-fried fish has a crispy coating of seasoned cornmeal while the European fish is batter fried. Both are delicious, but the Southern-fried fish is quick and easy and without all the messy batter.    

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 6Servings


  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon seafood seasoning (such as Old Bay)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or 3 egg whites whisked with 3 tablespoons water for non-dairy alternative) 
  • ½ cup oil for frying (see tips on frying)
  • 6 (six-ounce) sturdy fish filets (cod, Walleye, halibut, or your favorite) 


1. Line a baking sheet with brown paper bags and fit a cooling rack over the baking sheet.

2. Whisk together cornmeal, flour, seafood seasoning, paprika, salt and pepper. 

3. Place buttermilk in a shallow pan. 

4. Heat oil to 370°F.

5. Dredge fish in flour mixture, then buttermilk, and back in flour. Fry until dark golden brown (about 3 minutes) then gently turn the fish and fry the other side. 

6. Transfer fried fish to prepared baking sheet. Continue with remaining fish.