Pan-seared lemon herb catfish fillet is crispy on the outside and flaky on the inside, without any breading or frying! It is the healthier version of a traditional cornmeal catfish, bursting with lemon flavor.
Lemon, thyme, and butter are the best of friends, so I thought they would be perfect for this catfish that my husband caught. We don’t normally eat catfish, but because my husband caught it, and we know exactly where it came from, I’m good with it.
How to Cook Catfish ->
From all of the catfish recipes that I’ve seen, most are breaded in some type of flour or cornmeal batter. But I thought I would go a different route today and just pan-sear them to get that nice crispy texture on the outside. I prefer to use a cast iron for this dish because it yields a nice char on the fish. You want to cook it over medium heat to get the color on the outside, while keeping it flaky on the inside.
Ingredients for Pan-Seared Lemon Herb Catfish
It couldn’t be more simple, you only need a few ingredients, and preferably a cast iron pan if you have one. It just really gives the fish that charred flavor, which is amazing for this. I like to serve it with rice and some type of roasted veggie, but you do what your little heart desires.
- good quality catfish – my husband caught ours from a lake that our family visits
- lemon – this really brightens up the dish, I think lemon and fish go so well together
- dried thyme – this compliments the fresh lemon so well!
- good quality olive oil – you could also use avocado oil, it is a good neutral flavored oil
- butter – I used vegan butter, but you can use whatever type of butter you want
- salt & pepper – we can’t forget the staples
- fresh parsley – fresh herbs to garnish add pretty color and fresh flavor
Looking for more seafood recipes?
- Honey Sriracha Shrimp Tostadas
- Sheet Pan Dinner – Lemony Salmon & Green Beans
- Thai Shrimp Lettuce Wraps
Pan-Seared Lemon Herb Catfish
- 2 catfish fillets
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter or ghee (I used vegan butter)
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- juice of one lemon
- parsley for garnish
- Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and butter and let it melt.
- Season both sides of the catfish with the salt, pepper, and thyme. Carefully place the fillets into the skillet.
- Let them cook for 2-3 minutes on the first side, then use a large spatula to flip.
- Squeeze the juice from half a lemon onto the fish as it cooks on the second side. Let it cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Use a spatula to remove the fish from the skillet and onto your serving plates. You can squeeze more lemon juice over the top when serving if you want, and garnish with chopped parsley.