Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Gulf Catfish with Lemongrass Sauce

The other day we got gulf catfish at Shelly's Seafood in Homosassa. They were telling us many folks won't even think of eating catfish. I'm not sure of the reason, perhaps because catfish are bottom feeders in warm water. But gulf catfish is really good and not at all fishy as some may think. While Gary was at the fish market one crab climbed out of a bucket. Once one crab climbs out they all climb out. It was quite a feat for them to try and round up the crab without getting bit.

While I was at the farmer's market the other day they had lemongrass, Cymbopogon citratus. I used to grow lemongrass in my California gardens and loved it so I got a few stalks to cook with. A Mexican visitor to my gardens told me his mother would make lemongrass tea for him if he had an upset stomach. Lemongrass is rich in vitamin A and the essential oil is used in soaps, perfumes, and as an effective non toxic insect repellent. Lemongrass should not be used by pregnant or nursing women since it stimulates menstrual flow and effects on babies nursing from breast milk are unknown.

I decided to combine the lemongrass with shallot, ginger and lime with a dash of chili pepper. I chopped up the ginger, shallot and lemongrass and sauteed them in some butter. My food processor and mortar and pestle are packed otherwise I would have used either to finely chop and blend the ingredients.

When the ingredients just started to brown I turned down the heat and covered the pan to soften them really well. When they were soft I poured them into a bowl and set them aside.

Meanwhile I squeezed the juice from two lines and added a scant half a teaspoon of Vietnamese chili garlic sauce stirred into the lime juice. Alternatively I could have added the chili lime juice to the saucepan and cooked it for a while longer with the chopped ingredients. I may try that next time.

In the same frying pan I melted a little more butter and added the catfish. I sauteed the fish on one side and turned it over.

After I turned over the catfish I sprinkled the sauteed ingredients over the fish and then poured the lime chili sauce over the top. While the fish was cooking I periodically spooned the sauce from the sides of the pan over the top of the fish.

I can't even begin to tell you how delicious this sauce is with the fish. All the ingredients combined into a perfectly melded flavor each one complementing the other. In fact the sauce was so good the next day I made mahi with the same sauce. I served the catfish with broccoli and brown rice and I spooned the extra sauce over the rice. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. You always have great seafood recipes. This sauce sounds like it would go well with grilled salmon.

    I hope you are going to continue to give us good food and recipes when you start roaming.

  2. This sounds really delicious.
    I'm picturing all the crabs escaping while someone tries to herd them back into the bucket and laughing.

  3. I bought some lemongrass at the asian market last week and made lemongrass & coconut milk rice... yummy. I have all the ingredients to make your sauce, now to find some decent fish around here.

  4. Love catfish and that sauce sounds divine! Thanks for the great recipe!

  5. That sauce sounded WONDERFUL. We have lemongrass in the garden. The frost kills it each winter, so I have to treat it like an annual - but it is worth it.

  6. Japanese eat almost everything from water, sea or river, But not catfish. lol Perhaps Japanese catfish is not as good as Gulf ones, on a table. But we cherish them because they were said to predict earthquakes. They can perceive subtle tremor, which humans can't. :)

  7. The first commenter hit the nail on the head. You really do have the yummiest seafood recipes. I looove catfish so bookmarked this post. Thanks for sharing!

    You're moving?

    I was so ripped last night, I went to bed at eight and awoke to the sound of chirping birds. Ahhh, nice!

    We've still got a ways to go but, after this major April push, all's more manageable now. Friends will take a couple of pieces of furniture next week, opening things up a bit more. We're actually moving to a bigger place, but the layout is such, some furniture won't ease into the floor plan.

    Gonna try to get caught up with my blog today. Just couldn't juggle any more than I did.


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment