Beer Batter Fried Catfish – A Southern Delight

Are you looking for a deliciously crispy and flavorful meal to satisfy your cravings? Look no further than Ken’s Beer Batter Fried Catfish Recipe! This recipe is perfect for seafood lovers who want to elevate their cooking game and indulge in some delicious fried catfish.

But what makes Ken’s Beer Batter Fried Catfish Recipe stand out from the rest? For starters, it uses a unique blend of seasonings like oregano, garlic powder, and paprika for an extra kick of flavor. The batter is made with a combination of flour, cornstarch, beer, and egg, creating the perfect consistency to coat the fish.

What’s more, this recipe is incredibly easy to make! All you have to do is soak the catfish fillets in buttermilk and your choice of seasonings before dipping them in the batter and frying them up in some vegetable oil. Whether you’re an experienced home cook or just starting out in the kitchen, this recipe is sure to impress.

So grab your apron, turn up the heat on that deep fryer, and get ready to enjoy some seriously delicious beer battered fried catfish. Let’s dive into the details of Ken’s Beer Batter Fried Catfish Recipe!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Ken's Beer Batter Fried Catfish
Ken’s Beer Batter Fried Catfish

Are you tired of the same old boring fish recipes? Do you want to spice things up in the kitchen and wow your taste buds? Look no further than Ken’s Beer Batter Fried Catfish Recipe. Trust me, once you try it, you won’t be able to resist its deliciousness.

First off, let’s talk about the flavor. The combination of red pepper flakes, oregano, garlic powder, and paprika in the batter provide a zesty kick that will make your taste buds dance with joy. And let’s not forget about the beer! The beer adds a unique flavor and lightness to the batter that pairs perfectly with the catfish.

Speaking of catfish, this recipe features tender and flaky catfish fillets that will melt in your mouth. Soaking the catfish in buttermilk beforehand ensures that it stays moist and flavorful during frying. The batter creates a delightfully crispy exterior while keeping the fish perfectly cooked on the inside.

Now, let’s talk about convenience. This recipe is incredibly easy to follow and requires few ingredients. With just a few simple steps, you’ll have a restaurant-quality meal that can be whipped up in no time at all. Plus, it’s perfect for any occasion – whether you’re cooking for your family or hosting a dinner party.

Lastly, let’s talk about versatility. This recipe doesn’t just have to be used for catfish fillets – it can work wonders for other types of fish too! Try using it for battered cod, catfish nuggets or even shrimp. It also pairs perfectly with sides like fries or coleslaw for a complete meal.

In conclusion, if you want to impress your taste buds and those around you with a unique and flavorful meal that’s easy to make, then try Ken’s Beer Batter Fried Catfish Recipe. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Ingredient List

 Golden brown and crispy Ken's beer-battered catfish
Golden brown and crispy Ken’s beer-battered catfish

Get Your Ingredients Ready

This recipe requires the following ingredients:

  • Catfish fillets: This dish calls for catfish fillets, although you can substitute it with any white fish fillet if you prefer.
  • Buttermilk: Soaking catfish in buttermilk is a southern tradition that helps reduce the fishy taste and tenderizes the meat.
  • Red pepper flakes: Add a hint of heat to your catfish by using red pepper flakes. Adjust the amount of red pepper flakes to your desired level of spiciness.
  • Oregano: Oregano adds a touch of earthy and sweet flavor to the batter.
  • Garlic powder: Garlic powder provides a punch of flavor that complements the fish perfectly.
  • Egg: Whisking an egg into the batter mixture helps bind everything together and gives it a richer texture.
  • Beer: The star ingredient in this recipe! Use good quality beer for maximum flavor.
  • Salt & fresh ground pepper: These are staples of any pantry and add flavor to the batter mixture.
  • Paprika: Paprika gives color and depth to the batter mixture.
  • Baking powder: Baking powder is needed to create air bubbles in batter when frying, resulting in a light and crispy texture.
  • Cornstarch: Cornstarch is used along with flour to create an ultra-crispy shell on the fish.
  • All-purpose flour: All-purpose flour helps keep the batter light and crispy while also adding body to it.

Make sure to have all these ingredients ready before you start cooking!

The Recipe How-To

 Get ready to indulge in this Southern-style favorite
Get ready to indulge in this Southern-style favorite

Soaking the Catfish in Buttermilk and Seasoning

  1. Begin by soaking the catfish fillets in buttermilk and seasonings for at least 30 minutes. You can use a mixture of red pepper flakes, oregano, garlic powder, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper to spice up the buttermilk. This is an essential step because it helps tenderize the fish while infusing it with flavor.

Prepare the Beer Batter

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 ½ cups of flour, ¼ cup of cornstarch, 1 tsp of baking powder, 1 tsp of salt, and a pinch of paprika.

  2. In another bowl, whisk 1 egg with 1 cup of beer until it becomes smooth.

  3. Slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry ones while whisking it continuously to avoid creating any lumps in your batter. Add some more beer if the batter seems too thick.

Battering the Catfish Fillets

  1. Pour enough vegetable oil into a heavy-duty pot for deep frying and heat it to 350°F over medium-high heat.

  2. Take each catfish fillet from the buttermilk mixture, shaking off any excess liquid, then dredge them into the flour-cornstarch-seasoning mixture.

  3. Dip each catfish fillet individually into the batter, making sure it’s coated evenly.

  4. Gently place each battered catfish fillet into the hot oil using tongs to prevent any sizzling oil from splattering on your skin.

  5. Fry the catfish for about six minutes or until they become light golden brown color and crispy outside, flipping them occasionally with a slotted spoon or tongs for even browning.

Finishing Touches

  1. Once well-fried, use a slotted spoon or tongs to transfer each catfish fillet onto paper towels to remove any excess oil.

  2. Repeat until all catfish fillets are cooked, then serve with your favorite side dish such as french fries, coleslaw or tartar sauce.

Note: For those who are health-conscious, you can also bake this beer-battered catfish recipe at 350°F oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown and crispy outside instead of deep-frying in cooking oil.

Substitutions and Variations

 The perfect meal to fry up when you're craving something deliciously crispy
The perfect meal to fry up when you’re craving something deliciously crispy

You don’t have to be a master chef to figure out that minor adjustments can have a huge impact on the final dish. For that reason, it’s always worth exploring different substitution and variation options to find the perfect combination of flavors and textures.


– Fish: Although catfish is perfect for this recipe, you could substitute other white-fleshed fish fillets, such as cod, tilapia, or haddock.

– Flour: If you’re looking for a gluten-free option, try replacing regular flour with rice flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour.

– Beer: You can experiment with different types of beer for a unique flavor profile. A light beer will give your batter a milder taste, while a dark beer will add depth and richness to your fried catfish.


– Spices: Feeling adventurous? Add some cayenne pepper or chili flakes if you like it hot, or swap oregano for thyme to create a more aromatic flavor.

– Batter thickness: Adjust the consistency of your batter by adding more flour for thick and crispy results or more beer for lighter and fluffier batter.

– Dip and sauce: Serve your fried catfish with classic tartar sauce or whip up your own special dip using Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, and lemon juice.

Remember, cooking is an art form that allows you to be creative in the kitchen. Don’t be afraid to experiment with these substitutions and variations until you achieve the perfect battered fish dish that’s uniquely yours.

Serving and Pairing

 Made with a flavorful blend of spices and Ken's delicious beer batter
Made with a flavorful blend of spices and Ken’s delicious beer batter

Picture this: A plate of crispy, beer-battered catfish fillets, hot out of the fryer, glistening with oil and sprinkled with a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. It’s a feast for the eyes and the palate.

But what do you serve alongside this Southern classic? For me, nothing beats a side of hush puppies. These deep-fried balls of cornmeal batter are savory, a touch sweet, and just so satisfying to munch on. They also pair perfectly with the fried catfish – you can dip them in your tartar sauce or hot sauce for an explosion of flavor.

If you’re feeling healthier or want to balance things out a bit, I recommend a green salad or some coleslaw. The slightly tangy and crunchy slaw is a refreshing complement to the rich, indulgent fish.

For drinks, I personally prefer an ice-cold lager or pilsner to match the beer in the batter. You can also try a crisp white wine like Sauvignon Blanc for contrast or a citrusy IPA to amp up the hops.

And of course, don’t forget to add some lemon wedges for extra zing! Serve these beer-battered catfish fillets immediately while they’re piping hot so your guests can savor every crispy bite.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Tender, flaky catfish in every bite
Tender, flaky catfish in every bite

If you find yourself with leftover beer batter fried catfish, fear not. This crispy, succulent main course can easily be reheated to recapture its early glory. But whether you’re storing leftovers or prepping ahead, there are a few things to keep in mind.

To make the most of the dish’s taste and texture, it’s best to allow the fried catfish to cool completely before storing. Once your meal has reached room temperature, transfer it to an airtight storage container and place the container into the fridge.

If you want to make beer battered fish chips or nuggets in advance, I suggest frying them first and then allowing them to cool before storing in an airtight container. This method helps maintain their crunchiness and flavor without becoming soggy.

To reheat your beer battered fried catfish, remove it from the fridge about 30 minutes before serving so that it comes to room temperature. Next, preheat your oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then arrange the cold fried catfish on the sheet pan in one layer, without crowding them. Bake it for about 10-12 minutes, depending on thickness, until they become warm again and regain their crispy exterior.

Don’t have an oven? You can still reheat this delicious dish on a stovetop! Simply heat up a skillet over medium-high heat with enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan fully. Once heated up, add your fried catfish fillets and cook them for about 2-3 minutes per side until they become fully reheated.

Overall, this recipe retains its taste even after multiple reheats but try not to let it sit too long before diving back in!

Tips for Perfect Results

Now that you have all you need to knock your guests off their feet with your beer batter fried catfish, allow me to share some tried and tested tips that will help you achieve perfect results every time you make this delectable dish. With these pointers, you can be confident that your catfish will come out golden and crispy on the outside while still soft and flaky on the inside.

– Soak Catfish in Buttermilk or Beer:

To enhance the flavor and ensure the fish stays moist while frying, soak the catfish in buttermilk or beer for at least two hours. The acids in these liquids will not only tenderize the meat but also infuse it with rich flavors that will tantalize your taste buds.

– Use Fresh Oil:

For maximum crispiness, use fresh oil when deep-frying the catfish. Oil that has been used before is likely to contain food particles and debris, which can ruin the texture of your battered fish.

– Maintain a Constant Fry Temperature:

Make sure your oil remains at a constant temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the cooking process. This temperature will allow the batter to set quickly without burning while still cooking the fish through to perfection.

– Drain on a Rack:

Rather than using paper towels to drain off excess oil from your fried catfish, it’s advisable to use a cooling rack. Doing so allows air to circulate around the fish, preventing it from soaking up any residual oil and maintaining its crispy texture.

– Keep Seasoning Simple:

When it comes to seasoning your beer batter and catfish fillets, keep things simple. A dash of salt and pepper works wonders in bringing out the natural flavors of the fish, while some paprika adds a subtle smoky flavor to balance out the sweetness of beer batter.

By following these simple tips and tricks, you’ll create beer-battered fried catfish that’s not only delicious but also impressively crispy on the outside yet tender on the inside – a true culinary masterpiece!


Now that you’ve got a good understanding of the ingredients and how to make Ken’s beer batter fried catfish recipe, it’s common to have questions. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with some frequently asked questions and answers that will help you achieve perfect results every time. So let’s dive in!

Is it better to soak catfish in milk or buttermilk?

Before you start frying your catfish, it’s crucial to soak it in buttermilk. This will infuse the fish with all kinds of delicious flavors while also getting rid of any unpleasant odors or tastes. By marinating the fish in buttermilk, it will retain its moisture, ensuring a juicy and succulent end result. This process is similar to marinating fried chicken, and it’s just as essential to the success of the dish.

Why do you soak catfish in milk before frying?

For a delicious catfish dish that isn’t too fishy, I recommend soaking the fillets in milk for an hour before frying. When it comes to creating the ideal texture, a cornmeal crust is the perfect solution for achieving a light and crispy coating. To know when the catfish is cooked, look for a reduction in bubbling and for the fillets to start floating, as suggested by Jack.

What’s the best thing to soak catfish in?

If you happen to be preparing catfish, and you want to remove any strange tastes that it may have, then soaking it in buttermilk is a great tip. This technique is especially useful for wild caught catfish, and occasionally for farm raised catfish, which can have a slightly earthy or down-to-earth taste to them known as a “muddy” flavor. As a result, it is recommended that you soak the catfish in buttermilk before frying it. This should help to reduce any unwanted flavors and make for a more enjoyable dish. The soaking process is quite easy, and I’ll walk you through it step by step so you can accomplish this with confidence.

How does Gordon Ramsay make beer batter for fish?

Let’s get started by grabbing a large bowl to mix our dry ingredients which include both flours, baking powder, and sugar. Once those are combined, it’s time to add in the soda water, lager, and a pinch of salt to create the perfect consistency.
We want to avoid over-mixing our batter, so it’s best to only combine the ingredients until the batter is smooth and well-bound together.
To prepare our fish, we want to give it a light dusting of plain flour before dropping it into the batter. Make sure to coat the fish entirely in the batter for maximum flavor and texture.
Before placing our battered fish into the fryer, we need to preheat our vegetable oil to 180C. Once the oil is heated, it’s time to add in our fish and let it fry to crispy, golden perfection.

Bottom Line


Now that you have all the tools to make the perfect Ken’s beer batter fried catfish recipe, don’t hesitate to impress your friends and family with your culinary skills. This crispy, flavorful, and succulent dish will take you back to the south and fill your senses with a feeling of joy and satisfaction.

Whether you’re looking to create an unforgettable dinner or just want a quick snack, this recipe delivers on both fronts. The primary ingredients are easy to find, and the preparation steps are simple and straightforward.

Remember that when it comes to the batter, you can adjust the ratios depending on your preference. So feel free to add more seasoning or paprika for an additional flavor punch!

Lastly, always fry at a high temperature for the best result, so the outer layer is crispy yet still maintains its juiciness inside. Whether you’re grilling this dish or trying another recipe, I hope these tips and tricks come in handy.

So go ahead – indulge in this unbeatable Ken’s beer batter fried catfish recipe, and share it with everyone who appreciates good food. With every bite, you’ll savor the powerful concoction of southern flavors while indulging in the mouth-watering taste of thinly battered fish fillets.

You simply cannot resist something as delicious as this!

Ken's Beer Batter Fried Catfish

Ken’s Beer Batter Fried Catfish Recipe

DH loves to fish, and when he brings home a "catch", this is the first recipe we go to, of coarse I have to quick grab the 1/2 cup of beer before he gets to it. You can add or delete the seasonings as your taste sees fit,Soaking in buttermilk, is the key to kicking the "fishy" taste, but this is an optional step. The original recipe comes from Ryan Newman. Prep time does not include chill time.
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Keyword: < 15 Mins, Catfish
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Calories: 166.6kcal



  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup beer (room temperature)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano (dried-optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)


  • 1/2 lb catfish fillet
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk (optional, you can also use milk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • vegetable oil


  • In a medium bowl, combine flour,cornstarch & your choice of seasonings,baking powder,salt and pepper, whisk in beer & egg until smooth, cover & refrigerate 1-2 hours.
  • Soak fillets in 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/3 cup buttermilk or milk (optional step).
  • When ready to cook, in a deep skillet, heat oil (about 3" deep) to 375 degrees.
  • Allow fillets to drip dry then lightly dab them with a paper towel to insure they are not wet, dip fillets in batter, lift strips with tongs, draining excess batter, then place catfish in oil several pieces at a time (do not over crowd fillets).
  • Fry until well browned on all sides (about 3 min.), remove and drain on paper towels.

Your own notes


Serving: 213g | Calories: 166.6kcal | Carbohydrates: 15.8g | Protein: 11.9g | Fat: 4.9g | Saturated Fat: 1.3g | Cholesterol: 78.5mg | Sodium: 578.4mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 1.1g

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