When it comes to summer gatherings in Louisiana, a fish fry is hard to beat. They’re easy, manageable affairs for large groups, and with a few extra touches they can be even more memorable.
Great fried catfish starts with a superior batter. To get the crunchiest, most satisfying result, we snuck in some Cajun Grain cracked brown jasmine rice. It’s available in stores around South Louisiana, but can also be made at home by pulsing brown jasmine rice in a blender.
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 cup cracked brown jasmine rice (see note)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ¾ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1½ cups whole buttermilk
- 6 (6- to 8-ounce) catfish fillets
- In a large Dutch oven, pour oil to a depth of 4 inches, and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 360°.
- In a blender, pulse rice until finely ground. In a shallow dish, combine rice, flour, salt, onion powder, and cayenne. In another shallow dish, place buttermilk. Dip fish in buttermilk, letting excess drip off . Dredge each fillet in rice mixture, pressing mixture to fish, and shaking off excess.
- Carefully place fish into hot oil in batches. Cook about 3 minutes or until golden brown, turning occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.
- We used Cajun Grain Cracked Brown Jasmine Rice. Other notable brands of cracked rice (also known as middlins and rice grits) include Prairie Ronde, from Ville Platte, Louisiana, and Delta Blues Rice, from Mississippi