Pan-Fried Catfish or Perch


Total time to prepare – Approximately one (1) hour includes thirty (15) minutes of time the fish is resting in the fridge. 

 – This recipe uses Cracker Meal, while most recipes use cornmeal or bread crumbs for the topping. Give this a try. I’ve been making this recipe for over fifty years and haven’t disappointed an appetite yet. My dad used to call these “Little Fishies” because the fish are sliced into smaller fillets (see photo). Serves 6.


  • 1 lb. Catfish or Perch Fillets 
  • 4 Tbsp. Canola Oil
  • 4 Eggs – Beaten with fork
  • 2 cups Cracker Meal
  • 2 cups Flour
  • Garlic Powder to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste


  1. Slice perch or catfish into small fillets. The easiest pattern is to use the natural line in the middle of the fish and slice through that, and slice the remaining fillet in half if needed. 
  2. Sprinkle salt, pepper and garlic powder onto the meat side of the fish.
  3. Beat eggs in container so you can dip the fish into it. Set aside.
  4. Place 2 cups of flour onto paper plate or parchment/wax paper.
  5. Place cracker meal onto paper plate or parchment paper.
  6. Place fish into flour mixture, roll about, making sure the fillet is covered. 
  7. Dip fillet into eggs, again making sure all is covered.
  8. Dip into cracker meal and cover all.  
  9. (you can repeat steps 5, 6 & 7 if you want extra breading.)
  10. Place prepared fillet onto parchment or wax paper to dry while finishing all the others.
  11. Put the prepared fillets into the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes to allow the breading to take hold.
  12. Heat oil in frying pan or electric skillet. Make sure the oil is hot.
  13. Carefully add fish, perhaps 3 minutes on each side until golden brown.
  14. Remove to paper towels or wire racks to allow excess fat to drain.
  15. Serve and enjoy!


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