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Southern-Style Catfish with Tomato-Zucchini Rice

Catfish is making a comeback, and as Feed Me Phoebe demonstrates with this recipe, it doesn't get any better than when it's dusted in cornmeal and served alongside a savory rice made with two of summer's most valuable players, tomatoes and zucchini. 

Click here to see 10 Great Zucchini Recipes to Make with Your Bounty.


For the rice

  • 1 1/2 Cup chicken stock, or water
  • 1 Cup Arkansas rice*
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 large zucchini, diced
  • 2 Cups assorted cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 Teaspoon cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 Cup chopped cilantro leaves

For the slaw

  • 6 assorted radishes, trimmed, halved, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Cup finely chopped green cabbage
  • 2 Teaspoons honey
  • Juice from 1/2 a lime
  • 1 Teaspoon white vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 Cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 Cup finely chopped purple cabbage

For the fish

  • 2 catfish fillets, skins removed
  • 1 Cup cornmeal
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • 2 Cups buttermilk


For the rice

In a medium saucepan, bring the stock or water to a boil over high heat. Stir in the rice, butter, and salt. Cover tightly and remove to the lowest possible heat. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sauté the onion over medium-high heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and continue to sauté until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, cumin, paprika, and chili powder. Sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have released their juices, about 7 minutes.

Fluff the rice with a fork and transfer to the pan with the tomato mixture. Stir to combine. Off the heat, add the lemon juice and cilantro. Taste for seasoning.

For the slaw

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium-mixing bowl, reserving some of the radish slices for garnish. Toss until incorporated. Taste for seasoning and add more salt as necessary.

For the fish

Arrange the catfish fillets in a shallow bowl or baking dish. Pour the buttermilk over the fish. Marinate for 10 minutes.

Coat a cast-iron skillet with a generous layer of olive oil over high heat. Place the cornmeal on a plate and season with salt and pepper. Remove the catfish from the buttermilk and dredge it in the cornmeal on both sides, shaking off any excess. When the pan is smoking, add the catfish fillets. Fry on both sides until golden brown and very crisp, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels. When the catfish is cool enough to touch, cut each fillet into 2 pieces.

To serve, place 2 cups of rice on each plate and top with 2 pieces of catfish. Using a slotted spoon and leaving as much juice as possible in the mixing bowl, scoop about ¼ cup of slaw on top of the fish. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and some additional sliced radishes. Enjoy immediately.

Nutritional Facts
Calories Per Serving1725
Total Fat79g100%
Vitamin A244µg27%
Vitamin B125µg86%
Vitamin B62mg77%
Vitamin C111mg100%
Vitamin D0.4µg0.1%
Vitamin E9mg43%
Vitamin K87µg100%
Folate (food)203µgN/A
Folate equivalent (total)404µg100%
Folic acid141µgN/A
Niacin (B3)14mg72%
Riboflavin (B2)1mg77%
Sugars, added6gN/A
Thiamin (B1)1mg63.4%