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Catfish Beignets With Spicy Lemon Tartar Sauce

  • Yield: About 4 dozen


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus 4 cups for frying
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onions
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped red bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 pound catfish fillets, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons Essence, plus more for dusting
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves, plus extra for garnish
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste
  • 3 to 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Spicy Lemon Tartar Sauce


  • In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and bell peppers and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the green onions and garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the catfish and season with the Essence, cayenne, and lemon juice. Cook, stirring, until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in 1 tablespoon of parsley, and let cool.
  • In a large deep pot, heat the 4 cups of oil over medium-high heat to 360 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the milk, baking powder, salt, and hot sauce until smooth. Gradually add the flour 1/4 cup at a time, whisking constantly, to make a smooth batter. Fold in the catfish mixture.
  • In batches without crowding, drop heaping tablespoons of the batter into the hot oil. Fry, turning to brown evenly, until the beignets float to the surface, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Season with Essence, to taste.
  • Place on a platter, sprinkle with chopped parsley, and pass with Spicy Lemon Tartar Sauce.

Recipe Details