Crunchy Catfish with Lemon Lime Tartar Sauce

The special ingredient, besides really fresh catfish, is masa flour. It’s the treated corn flour used to make tamales. It’s probably in your market, but you may not know it’s there. Look for a bag in the Hispanic or baking sections of your store. A $4 bag will last you a long time, unless you get the urge to make a batch of tamales. If you don’t feel like hunting down the masa, substitute regular old flour.

Crunchy Catfish with Lemon Lime Tartar Sauce


  • 1 1/2 pounds catfish fillets cut into 1-inch wide strips

The Wet Stuff

  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 – 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • dash or more regular or Chipotle Tabasco
  • 1/3 cup milk

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Keep cold.

    The Dry Stuff

    • 1 cup masa harina flour
    • 1 cup corn meal
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper

    Combine in a medium bowl.

    • oil for frying

    Lemon-Lime Tartar Sauce

    • Use a vegetable peeler or zester to remove the outside or yellow and green part of the lemon and lime. Don’t go deep into the white part!
    • 1 1/4 cups
    • 1 cup mayonnaise
    • 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
    • 1 teaspoon capers
    • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
    • 1 teaspoon each lemon and lime zest minced
    • 1 tablespoon lime juice
    • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
    • 2 garlic cloves minced
    • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley minced

    Combine all ingredients in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 1 – 3 hours before serving.


      • Dredge fish first into The Wet Stuff, then coat with The Dry Stuff. Using tongs, carefully place each piece, one or two at a time, into 360 degree oil in a deep, heavy-duty pot or fryer. Fry until golden brown and then drain on paper towels. Season with additional salt and pepper as desired while fish are still hot. Serve with Tartar Sauce on the side.

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