Skip to main content

Catfish Dinner with Homemade Chips and Tartar Sauce Recipe

Catfish is meaty, juicy and holds up well in this soul-satisfying fried fish recipe with homemade chips and tartar sauce

Catfish Dinner with Homemade Chips and Tartar Sauce Recipe
You know how to fry catfish, but do you know how to make tartar sauce and chips (French fries) from scratch? With this recipe, you can do it all. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)
Print Recipe

You can use any white-fleshed fish for this recipe. If you have access to ocean fish – great! But for those who don't live near the sea, I believe catfish is the most comparable freshwater fish we have to popular saltwater species such as cod or haddock. Catch something in the neighborhood of a five-pounder, and you're in business. You don't want to use something like crappie or bluegill, which can be so thin that they get lost among the French fries.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 3 hours
Cook time: 30 minutes

Catfish Ingredients:

  • 4 catfish fillets
  • 4 large starchy potatoes
  • Vegetable/peanut oil for frying

Beer-Batter Ingredients:


  • 1 ½ cups flour, plus extra
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • Half a can (4 ounces) of light beer

Tartar Sauce Ingredients:


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced pickles or cornichons
  • Splash of pickle juice
  • 1 tablespoon capers, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon dried dill
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
  • Freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Cut potatoes, peeled or unpeeled, into desired size strips. For crispier fries, cut them thinner. Soak potato strips in water for about 2-3 hours.

  2. Catfish Dinner with Homemade Chips and Tartar Sauce Recipe
    I cut my potatoes a little thicker for a more traditional take on this British classic. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

  3. In the meantime, make the beer batter by combining the dry ingredients first, and then whisk in the beer. Refrigerate the batter, covered, for up to 3 hours until you’re ready to use it.

  4. Catfish Dinner with Homemade Chips and Tartar Sauce Recipe
    Refrigerate beer batter until you're ready to use it on the catfish fillets. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

  5. Combine tartar sauce ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use. This tartar sauce recipe will stay fresh for at least a week in your refrigerator, although I've kept it for much longer.

  6. Catfish Dinner with Homemade Chips and Tartar Sauce Recipe
    Homemade tartar sauce is always better than store bought, which often tastes one-noted and boring. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

  7. To fry the chips, first drain potatoes and lay them out onto a large cookie sheet lined with paper or cotton towels. Dab the potatoes to get them as dry as possible – water and hot oil do not mix. Then heat oil to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, and fry in batches until potatoes become tender, about 5 minutes. They will still be blond at this point. Drain them on paper towels or on a cooling rack.

  8. Catfish Dinner with Homemade Chips and Tartar Sauce Recipe
    Knowing how to make your own French fries is a skill everyone should keep under their belt. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

  9. Then crank up the oil temperature to 375 degrees. Fry the chips again until golden and crispy – do not overcrowd the pan to keep the oil temperature from dropping too much. Transfer chips to a cooling rack, toss with salt to taste and keep warm.

  10. Catfish Dinner with Homemade Chips and Tartar Sauce Recipe
    Double fry the chips so they are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

  11. Rinse catfish fillets with cold water and dab dry. Cut the fillets into smaller pieces if desired. First, lightly coat the fish with plain flour (do not skip this step) and then coat with the beer batter.

  12. Catfish Dinner with Homemade Chips and Tartar Sauce Recipe
    Dab catfish fillets dry with a paper towel after rinsing. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

  13. Carefully drop the fillets into the hot oil (375 degrees) and cook until golden and crispy. Drain before serving with chips and tartar sauce.

  14. Catfish Dinner with Homemade Chips and Tartar Sauce Recipe
    Cook battered catfish fillets until golden brown and crispy. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

New G. Loomis IMX Pro Rod Series

New G. Loomis IMX Pro Rod Series

David Brinkerhoff of G. Loomis shares his knowledge of the new IMX Pro rod series. The IMX Pro rod series comes in 10 new models and will cover five technique-specific categories. Available Fall 2020. MSRP $345-355.

Daiwa Tatula Swimbait Rods

Daiwa Tatula Swimbait Rods

No matter what your bass catching goal is, Daiwa's Tatula line of rods is perfect for every job according to MLF Bass Pro Tour veteran Cody Meyer. Here's why.

Berkley Hit Stick & PowerBait Pre-Rigged Swim Shad

Berkley Hit Stick & PowerBait Pre-Rigged Swim Shad

The Berkley lineup for 2020 includes a new multi-species lure, the Hit Stick which is available in six different sizes ranging from 1 3/8” to 6” in length along with a variety of color patterns.

Spider Rig Crappies

Spider Rig Crappies

Doug Stange employs one of the most effective crappie systems ever.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Several methods are available to estimate the weight of a fish. Some use length as well as girth measurements.Walleye Length To Weight Conversion Chart Biology

Walleye Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - January 03, 2017

Several methods are available to estimate the weight of a fish. Some use length as well as...

One key element of the program is matching the hatch.'Minnesota Finesse' for Bass Success Bass

'Minnesota Finesse' for Bass Success

Matt Straw - August 11, 2020

One key element of the program is matching the hatch.

To guide your carp quest, we've lined up the best carp baits that are easy-to-fish natural baits and commercial options.10 Best Carp Baits Available Today Carp

10 Best Carp Baits Available Today

Dan Johnson

To guide your carp quest, we've lined up the best carp baits that are easy-to-fish natural...

Serve these walleye fish cakes with homemade blue cheese aioli or blue cheese salad dressing.Walleye Fish Cakes with Blue Cheese Aioli Recipe Fish Recipes

Walleye Fish Cakes with Blue Cheese Aioli Recipe

Chefs Jerry Swanson and Tommy Nuesse

Serve these walleye fish cakes with homemade blue cheese aioli or blue cheese salad dressing.

See More Trending Articles

More Fish Recipes

A classic dish of buttery, beer-battered fillets that will leave your taste buds satisfied.Beer-Battered Northern Pike Recipe Fish Recipes

Beer-Battered Northern Pike Recipe

Steve Quinn

A classic dish of buttery, beer-battered fillets that will leave your taste buds satisfied.

This delicious walleye recipe is made with both a marinade and a rub, giving it a sweet and spicy flavorSouthwestern Grilled Walleye with Tortilla Sauce Recipe Fish Recipes

Southwestern Grilled Walleye with Tortilla Sauce Recipe

Linda Marco

This delicious walleye recipe is made with both a marinade and a rub, giving it a sweet and...

Fish freshly caught and cooked outdoors over an open fire perfectly complete the circle of life.Classic Shore Lunch Fish Recipes

Classic Shore Lunch

In-Fisherman and Chef Lucia Watson - April 22, 2020

Fish freshly caught and cooked outdoors over an open fire perfectly complete the circle of...

Looking for an easy weeknight dinner? You can make this delicious Ranchero Walleye Recipe in only 30 minutes.Ranchero Walleye Fish Recipes

Ranchero Walleye

In-Fisherman

Looking for an easy weeknight dinner? You can make this delicious Ranchero Walleye Recipe in...

See More Fish Recipes

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All In-Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now