whole catfish and tater tots

whole catfish and tater tots

Ingredients for Catfish:

  • 2 whole catfish, cleaned and scaled
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Ingredients for Tater Tots:

  • 4 large russet potatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Vegetable oil for frying


  1. In a large bowl, combine buttermilk, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, salt, and black pepper. Add the catfish and toss gently to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, allowing the flavors to meld.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Peel the potatoes and grate them using a cheese grater. Place the grated potatoes in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze tightly to remove excess moisture.
  4. Transfer the grated potatoes to a bowl and add salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. Mix well to combine.
  5. Take a small amount of the potato mixture and shape it into a tot-like cylinder. Repeat with the remaining potato mixture. You should have about 20-24 tater tots.
  6. Heat vegetable oil in a deep pot or skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully add the tater tots to the hot oil and fry until golden brown and crispy, about 3-4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or tongs to transfer the tots to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.
  7. In a shallow dish, combine cornmeal, all-purpose flour, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, salt, and black pepper to create a breading mixture.
  8. Remove the catfish from the buttermilk marinade, allowing any excess liquid to drip off. Dredge each catfish in the seasoned breading mixture, pressing gently to adhere the mixture to the fish.
  9. In a large skillet or frying pan, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Carefully place the breaded catfish in the hot oil and fry for about 4-5 minutes per side, or until the fish is golden brown and cooked through. Use a spatula or tongs to carefully flip the fish halfway through cooking.
  10. Once the catfish and tater tots are cooked, serve them hot and enjoy your soul food meal! You can serve the catfish with tartar sauce or hot sauce, and the tater tots can be enjoyed as is or with your favorite dipping sauce.

This recipe offers a classic soul food twist on whole catfish and tater tots, providing a flavorful and satisfying meal. Adjust the seasonings according to your taste preferences, and feel free to add additional spices or herbs to enhance the flavors. Enjoy!