Catfish recipes for Baked Catfish, Simmered Catfish, Fried Catfish, Broiled Catfish, Poached Catfish, Smoked Catfish
Catfishes - family Ictaluridae are scaleless fishes with a spinous ray in the front of the dorsal fin and each pectoral fin. Catfish have been widely caught and farmed for food for hundreds of years in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. They are some of the best eating freshwater fish around. The most commonly eaten species in the United States are the Channel Catfish and
Blue Catfish, both of which are common in the wild and widely farmed.
Catfish are kept alive until processed, making them among the freshest freshwater fish available. Farm-raised catfish is ranked the fifth most popular fish consumed in the United States. This lean fish have firm texture, white meat with mild flavor. They are high in Vitamin D. Farm-raised catfish contains low levels of omega-3 fatty acids and a much higher proportion of omega-6 fatty acids.
Catfish, family Ictaluridae
There are about 65 catfishes in family Ictaluridae, 38 of them are known from the United States. The most known catfishes are
White Catfish and bullheads:
Black Bullhead. All species are equipped with spines which may inflict wounds of varying discomfort from a short period of numbness and moderate swelling to extreme discomfort and swelling that may last for several days.
Identification of Channel and Blue Catfish, Black and Yellow Bullhead
Channel Catfish is the only spotted North American catfish with a deeply forked tail and bluish, to olive-green back shading to a white belly. Outer margin of anal fin rounded, and anal fin with 24 to 29 rays.
Blue Catfish has body without dark spots; Outer margin of anal fin straight, and anal fin with 30 to 36 rays.
Black Bullhead has the dark chin barbels and the sharply contrasting black membranes and paler rays of the caudal and anal fins.
Yellow Bullhead has uniformly dusky fins with a black margin on the caudal and anal fins, and non-pigmented chin barbels.
Frying catfish is the most popular way to cook catfish. Place butter or oil in a skillet and heat on medium until it reaches full temperature. Once the skillet becomes hot, place the catfish fillets in the pan and cook for about 5 minutes on each side but only turn the fish over one time.
Grilling is another very popular method. Start the grill up to proper temperature. Place the fillets on the grill racks in single file and cook for about 5 minutes on each side with the lid of the grill closed. Tip: Spray the racks of the grill with a non-stick spray.
Baking is another very easy option. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the fillet of catfish single layer on a baking pan coated with cooking spray. Leave uncovered and bake from 10 to 15 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets.
Smoking catfish is the best and delicious way to cook, because catfish absorb smoke fast and have great texture, which tend to be the testiest after smoking.
Catfish Cooking Tips:
The general rule is 10 minutes per inch of thickness, at the thickest part of the fillet or steak, at 400º to 450ºF. Fish fillets less than 1/2in thick do not have to be turned during cooking. When fish cooked in parchment, sauce or foil, add 5 additional minutes to the total cooking time. The cooking time for frozen fish should be doubled. It is better to thaw fish prior to cooking. All fish should be thoroughly cooked. Hybrid striped bass is cooked when its meat flakes easily with a fork at the thickest part, and loses its translucent or raw appearance. Always oil the grill to prevent fish from sticking.
Buying and Storing Tips:
When buying whole Catfish, look for a shiny surface with tightly adhering scales and gills that are deep red or pink, free of slime, mucus and off-odor. Also watch for a clean, shiny belly cavity with no cuts or protruding bones, and a mild aroma, similar to the ocean. Fresh steaks, fillets and loins should have a translucent look and flesh that is firm and not separating. There should be no discoloration and proper packaging that keeps the fish from being bent in an unnatural position. The flesh of the Catfish fillets should gleam and have minimal gaping. Smell is a good indicator of freshness.
How to Fillet a Catfish:
Cut down on both sides from the end of bone that protrudes from the fin towards the rear of the fish, to the most forward point on the bottom of the catfish's head where the skin is soft, until the cuts meet under the head. Carefully cut the skin from the center underside of the fish to the anus, taking care to only cut skin and not anything else. If you have done this right, the body cavity can be opened and all the entrails will be intact.
Grab the fish from behind the fins and flip it over. Now remove the entrails by starting from the anus and cleaning out the body cavity as you move towards the head. You need to remove the belly section and the dark red meat (coagulated blood) from the fillets. This makes for a little waste but the remaining fillets rival the best.
Rinse the fillets with clean water to remove any debris. Place them in a freezer bag and freeze if you will be storing them, or cook them immediately to get the most from the freshly filleted Catfish.
Catfish is a good source of vitamins, minerals, folate and dietary fiber, as well as low-fat protein, selenium and carbs. Nutritional values for approximately 4 oz (114 gr) of raw, edible portions: Calories 110, Calories From Fat 25, Total Fat 3g, Saturated Fat 0.5g, Cholesterol 60mg, Sodium 70mg, Total Carbohydrates 0g, Protein 21g, Omega-3 0.76g.
Substitutes for Catfish:
Red Grouper, Blackfish, Sea Bass,
The omega-3 fatty acids found in Catfish help prevent erratic heart rhythms. These fatty acids in fish also make blood less likely to clot inside arteries (which are the ultimate cause of most heart attacks and strokes). Omega-3s improve the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol and play a role in preventing cholesterol from clogging arteries.
Vitamin B6 is essential for the body's processing of carbohydrate (sugar and starch), especially the breakdown of glycogen, the form in which sugar is stored in muscle cells and to a lesser extent in our liver. Along with vitamin B12, vitamin B6 plays a pivotal role as a methyl donor in the basic cellular process of methylation. Also vitamin B12 plays an essential role in the production of red blood cells and prevention of anemia, is also needed for nerve cells to develop properly, and helps cells metabolize protein, carbohydrate, and fat.
Selenium is needed for the proper function of the antioxidant system, which works to reduce the levels of damaging free radicals in the body. Selenium is a necessary cofactor of one of the body's most important internally produced antioxidants, glutathione peroxidase, and also works with vitamin E in numerous vital antioxidant systems throughout the body. Selenium is involved in DNA repair, one of its potential ways in which it may afford protection against cancer. Additionally, selenium has been found to be associated with decreased asthma and arthritis symptoms and in the prevention of heart disease.
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