Cajun-Fried Catfish Bánh Mì
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
I love this bánh mì sandwich because it has all the elements of a traditional Southern fish fry; crispy catfish, creamy slaw and crunchy pickles all rolled up into one neat package.
Recipe by:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
Pickled Vegetables
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugarcane vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 cups shredded Napa cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 large carrot, peeled
  • 1 cucumber, peeled
  • 1 small red onion, peeled
  • Pinch of salt
Spicy Mayo
  • 1 ½ cups mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Acadiana Table Cajun Seasoning Blend, see recipe here
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
Catfish and Assembly
  • 4 6-inch French bread loaves or po-boy bread
  • 8 large catfish fillets, cut into medium-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 gallon canola oil
  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • ¼ cup Wondra flour
  • ¼ cup rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons Acadiana Table Cajun Seasoning Blend, see recipe here
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves or mint leaves, for garnish, optional
Instructions
Pickled Vegetables
  1. In a mixing bowl, add the vinegars and honey. Stir to combine and add the cabbage. Pour off all of the vinegar mixture into another bowl. To the cabbage, add the mayonnaise and blend until incorporated. Cover the cabbage and refrigerate.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler, peel long, thin strips from the carrot into the bowl containing the vinegar mixture. Repeat with the cucumber. Slice the onion into thin slices and add them to the bowl as well. Add a pinch of salt to the bowl and coat all of the vegetables with the vinegar mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Spicy Mayo
  1. In a mixing bowl, add the mayonnaise and whisk in the rest of the ingredients, combining thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate.
Catfish and Assembly
  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºF. Slice open the bread loaves through the middle lengthwise and place on a baking sheet. 20 minutes before serving, put the bread in the oven to warm.
  2. Coat the catfish fillets in the lemon juice and shake off any excess juice. Sprinkle the fish lightly with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  3. In a large pot over medium-high heat, add the oil and bring to a temperature of 350ºF. In a mixing bowl, add the cornmeal and flours along with the seasoning. Stir to combine. Add the catfish fillets to the breading and coat. Add the catfish to the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined platter and lightly sprinkle with salt.
  4. For assembly, remove the hot French loaves from the oven and slather the inside with mayonnaise. Add a portion of slaw and then top with several pieces of fried catfish. Strain the vinegar from the pickled vegetables and add equal amounts of onion, cucumber and carrot to the sandwich. Garnish with fresh cilantro or mint if you like. Serve with more of the spicy mayonnaise and an ice-cold beer.
Notes
The pickled vegetables I use are what I had on hand; you could easily use fresh radish or daikon as well as any number of vegetables. Like my recipe for Crazy Crisp Onion Rings, the Wondra and rice flour are used for added crispness in the fried catfish. Try it on most any fried foods.
Recipe by Acadiana Table at https://www.acadianatable.com/2015/08/24/catfish-banh-mi/