Thursday, October 15, 2020

Popcorn-Battered Fried Fish, Remembering Oklahoma, and Kids in the Kitchen #FishFridayFoodies

It's time for Fish Friday Foodies' October 2020 event. We are a group of seafood-loving bloggers, rallied by Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm, to share fish and seafood recipes on the third Friday of the month. 

Sue of Palatable Pastime is hosting. She wrote: "Let's cook up our favorite  fish and other types of seafood in comfort  food recipes that  make  you happy just thinking about. Fish and chips, chowders, fish pies, shrimp tacos, fried oysters and more. Whatever puts a  smile on your face."

Here's the October 2020 line-up from the #FishFridayFoodies. I cannot wait to try these comforting recipes...

Kids in the Kitchen

Back in August, I hosted a full-day cooking competition for my two boys and one friend each. It was in the style of the Chopped cooking competitions and a way to have a little fun as we are still sheltered-in-place with the corona virus pandemic. Their boxes included: squid, whole black striped bass, black licorice, coconut milk, polenta, jade rice, popcorn, marzipan, craft salt blend from Big Sur Salts, garlic, mascarpone, lemons, bell peppers, rainbow chard, Pink Pearl apples, white nectarine jam, essential oils from Wellness With Toula, chocolate, and caramel!!

Remembering Oklahoma

The recipe I'm sharing for today's event is the one that Team D-J made and served. This didn't win the entree round of the competition, but it was well-done and there's a connection to D's birth state of Oklahoma. He says that this recipe reminded him of the stories I told of the catfish place we used to go to and it's comforting even though we left Oklahoma before he was even a year old. And I honestly don't think he ever ate the fried catfish! But okay.

Popcorn-Battered Fried Fish

One funny story about the cooking competition...I had intended that they cook with a whole fish head and all. But I didn't realize that I was buying whole fish that still needed to be cleaned. 

Thank goodness for all those years fishing with Poppa. They are pros.

And my boys easily guided their friends in how to gut, scale, and filet those bass. They started with a classic Southern fried catfish recipe but added some competition flair by including several basket ingredients.


  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup pulverized popcorn
  • 1 Tablespoon Cajun seasoning (a blend of smoked paprika, black pepper, white pepper, dried oregano, garlic powder, and cayenne), divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 pounds fish fillets, cut into chunks
  • Also needed: wire rack over a baking sheet; canola for frying; remoulade, lemon slices, and fresh herbs for serving


Place the wire rack over your baking sheet and set aside. In a mixing bowl, stir together the cornmeal, pulverized popcorn, and 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning. In another bowl, beat the eggs with the remaining 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning.

Dip each filet into beaten eggs so that both sides are nicely coated. Then dip the filet into the cornmeal-popcorn mixture. Place the filet on the wire rack. Repeat until all pieces are coated.

Place the fish in the refrigerator while the oil heats.

In a large pot (they used an enamel-covered cast iron pot), pour in about 2 inches of oil and heat over medium-high heat until the temperature reaches approximately 340 degrees. If you aren't using a thermometer, drop a pinch of the cornmeal mixture in the oil; it will bubble up.

Working in batches, fry fish until golden brown. Then remove and drain on racks or paper towels. Repeat until all the pieces are cooked.

Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Then serve with lemon slices, fresh herbs, and remoulade.

That's a wrap for our comfort food fish recipes. We'll be back in November with our group's founder at the head. Wendy will have us sharing Thanksgiving fish or seafood recipes. Stay tuned.


  1. You sure got a lot of great recipes out of that one fun day of competition. I love when you share that day with us.

  2. That popcorn breading is brilliant! Love seeing another recipe that came out of that memorable event in your home!