How To Fry Catfish In Nigeria

Table of Contents

How to Fry Catfish in Nigeria

If you're a fan of Nigerian cuisine, then you're probably aware of how revered catfish is in Nigerian cooking. From spicy stews to crispy fried fillets, catfish is a staple in many Nigerian households. In this article, we'll be focusing on the latter, and we'll be showing you how to fry catfish in Nigeria.

Choosing the Right Catfish

The first step in frying catfish in Nigeria is to make sure you're using the right type of catfish. There are various types of catfish available in Nigeria, but the most commonly used is the African catfish. When selecting catfish, it's important to choose one that is fresh and hasn't been frozen. Frozen catfish tends to be tougher and can make it challenging to cook.

Preparing the Catfish

Once you have your catfish, the next step is to clean it thoroughly. Rinse it under running water and scrape off the scales using a sharp knife. You can also ask your fishmonger to clean it for you. Once it's clean, make sure to pat it dry with a paper towel or a clean cloth.

Seasoning the Catfish

The key to great-tasting fried catfish is in the seasoning. You can use a variety of seasonings to marinate your catfish, but a common recipe in Nigeria involves using spices such as garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, curry powder, and chili powder. Mix the seasonings in a bowl, then rub the mixture onto the catfish, making sure to cover both sides.

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Coating the Catfish

After seasoning, the next step is to coat the catfish in flour or cornmeal. The coating helps to add a crispy texture to the fish. To coat the catfish, pour some flour or cornmeal onto a plate, then place the catfish onto the plate and press it down, making sure the coating sticks to the fish. Flip it over and repeat the process on the other side.

Frying the Catfish

The final step is to fry the catfish. Heat some oil in a frying pan or deep fryer, then carefully place the catfish into the oil. Fry each side for about 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown. Once done, carefully remove the catfish from the oil and place it onto a paper towel-lined plate to drain off the excess oil. Serve hot with your favorite side dishes.

Tips for Perfectly Fried Catfish

  • Make sure your catfish is fresh and hasn't been frozen.
  • Season the catfish well to add flavor.
  • Use the right type of coating to add a crispy texture.
  • Fry the catfish in hot oil to ensure it cooks evenly and quickly.
  • Don't overcrowd the pan or fryer to prevent the fish from sticking together.


Frying catfish in Nigeria is a simple and delicious way to enjoy this popular fish. By following these steps, you'll be able to create crispy and flavorful fried catfish that's sure to impress your family and friends.


  1. Can I use frozen catfish to fry?
    It's best to use fresh catfish as frozen catfish tends to be tougher and can make it challenging to cook.

  2. What type of coating is best for fried catfish?
    You can use either flour or cornmeal as a coating for fried catfish. Both add a crispy texture to the fish.

  3. How do I know when the catfish is cooked?
    The catfish is cooked when it turns golden brown and flakes easily with a fork.

  4. Can I fry catfish in a regular frying pan?
    Yes, you can fry catfish in a regular frying pan. Just make sure to use enough oil to submerge the fish.

  5. What side dishes pair well with fried catfish?
    In Nigeria, fried catfish is often served with dishes such as jollof rice, fried plantains, or coleslaw.

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