How To: Fry Fish Over a Campfire

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From Xplor: July/August 2017

Here’s what you need:

  • Cast-iron skillet
  • Spatula and tongs
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Oven mitt
  • Paper towels
  • Gallon-sized zip-top plastic bags
  • 4 catfish fillets (about 8 ounces each)
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup corn meal
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning (use more if you like it spicy)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 lemon
  • An adult to help

Here’s what you do:

  • Light a campfire. Once it has burned down, rake the coals flat using a long stick. While you’re waiting, prepare the fish.
  • Pour the buttermilk into a zip-top bag. In another bag, mix together the cornmeal, flour, Cajun spice, and salt.
  • Rinse the catfish fillets with water and pat them dry with paper towels.
  • Place the fillets into the bag of buttermilk and swirl them around until they’re coated evenly. Drain off the excess buttermilk.
  • Transfer the fillets to the bag containing the cornmeal mixture. Gently shake the fillets around inside the bag until they’re coated evenly.
  • Pour an 1⁄8 inch of oil into the skillet. If your fire ring has a grill, set the skillet on top of the grill. If it doesn’t have a grill, set the skillet directly on top of the coals. Every few minutes, drop a tiny pinch of cornmeal into the oil. The oil is ready when the cornmeal sizzles quickly.
  • Gently place the fillets in the hot oil. Fry for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until the cornmeal is golden and crispy, and the fish flakes easily with a fork. Use the oven mitt to remove the skillet from the fire. Be careful! The skillet will be extremely hot and stay that way for a long time.
  • Place the fillets on paper towels to soak up excess oil. Squeeze lemon juice over each fillet just before serving.

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This Issue's Staff

Bonnie Chasteen
Les Fortenberry
Karen Hudson
Angie Daly Morfeld
Noppadol Paothong
Marci Porter
Mark Raithel
Laura Scheuler
Matt Seek
David Stonner
Nichole LeClair Terrill
Stephanie Thurber
Cliff White