Catching up with catfish fillets

This is the third of three food memos about catfish.

screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-2-41-53-pmBob Dylan was singing about a baseball player named Catfish, but he is just one of many who have written a song relating to food. Although a plate of catfish is not always “a million-dollar man,” it does provide a healthy amount of fats and proteins that no fish can compete with because “nobody can throw the ball like Catfish can.”

Catfish and tilapia (a milder fish) have been ranked as two of the most popular fish since 2000, according to a Mayo Clinic article. They are both relatively cheap — in fact, the two catfish fillets pictured above cost approximately $5 from a local grocery store.

Catfish is a relatively fatty fish and is high in both protein, according to Seafood Health Facts’ website.

The catfish is named as such due to the “whiskers,” or barbels that hang off its mouth. Those barbels can differ in number and size, depending on the species of catfish, of which there are thousands. Catfish are bottom-dwellers and live in freshwater. According to Catfish Edge, the three most popular types of catfish in the United States are blue catfish, channel catfish and flathead catfish.

When cooking catfish, most lean toward breading and frying the fish. As a way to avoid adding extra oil, catfish can also be baked in the oven. The recipe pictured above mixes flour, cornmeal, cayenne pepper, lemon salt and pepper to coat the fish after it receives a soak in a bath of beaten eggs and hot sauce. The result: a crispy and tangy crust that keeps the savory and juicy meat of the fish inside. The fish is not as mild as tilapia, but is a good fish to try for those who might not be as familiar with fish in their taste repertoire. Although Bob Dylan might not have been singing about that kind of catfish, anyone would after having a bite.

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