Go Back
+ servings
A plate of several pieces of fried whiting fish
Print Pin
5 from 23 votes

Southern Pan Fried Fish

Classic delicious southern fried fish is lightly seasoned and fried in a pan until golden and crisp. Crispy whiting fish is the best!
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Fried Seafood, Seafood, soul food, Southern, Southern American, Whiting Fish
Keyword fried fish, fried whiting, whiting fish, whiting fish recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author April Boller Wright


  • 2 lb Fish Fillet whiting, cod, catfish
  • salt and pepper for taste
  • vegetable oil for frying

Flour Mixture

  • ¾ cup cornmeal
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper for taste


  • Lightly season the fish with salt and pepper. Set aside.  In a large bowl, combine the flours and all of the seasonings. 
  • Dredge the fillets in the breading mixture one at a time. Place the coated fillets on a parchment lined baking sheet. Let them sit for 10-15 minutes. 
    Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Fill the pan with the vegetable oil halfway.*See notes. Fry the fillets in batches but do not crowd the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. Drain on a paper towel. Serve immediately since the crispiness won't last very long! 



  • Use your choice of fish, whiting, cod, catfish.
  • Make sure all the bones are removed from the fish. 
  • To make this gluten free, eliminate the flour.
  • Pat the fish dry.
  • Season the fish lightly with salt and pepper. 
  • Gently press the breading into the fish and shake off excess flour before you add it to the oil. 
  • Coat the fish then leave it alone for 10 minutes. This will help keep the coating from falling off. 
  • Use a good quality non-stick pan or cast iron skillet to fry your fish.
  • Do not fill the skillet more than halfway with oil.
  • Make sure the hot oil is @ the correct temperature (350 degrees F) before the fish is added to the skillet. 
Recipe updated on 4/12/2019