Southern Style Fried Fish & Fixins

Crispy cornmeal breaded tilapia, creamy coleslaw, and hushpuppies.

Today I’m cookin’ up a good ole fashion southern style fish fry with all the fixins. ‘Cause, you cain’t have a fish fry without the fixins!

These recipes are simple and can be started a day or two in advance. The flavors in the soaked fish, coleslaw, and hushpuppy batter will actually benefit when given time to marry. Just save breading the fish and frying until the last minute.

Catfish and crappie are traditional for southern fish fries but are not readily available in my area. So I used tilapia filets instead. Presoaking the fish in a buttermilk mixture is a common practice in the south. Soaking removes any muddy gamey flavor, gives the fish a little heat, and provides a base for the breading. A mixture of cornmeal and flour coats the fish for a light crisp texture. I also like to add seasonings to the breading just to kick it up a bit.

Hushpuppies are balls of fried seasoned cornmeal batter. The batter is dropped into hot oil using two spoons or a 3/4 ounce scoop. I like to dip the spoons in the hot oil before scooping the batter. The oil coats the spoons keeping the batter from sticking. When the balls hit the oil, they sink to the bottom and then rise to the surface. If they do not rise, the oil is probably not hot enough. The puppies will then need to be flipped to evenly brown. Once golden, they can be served immediately or kept in a low oven.

No fish fry is complete without lemon wedges and tartar sauce to add some brightness to an otherwise heavy meal. You can find my recipe for homemade tartar sauce by clicking this link. Y’all enjoy now!

Southern Style Fried Fish & Fixin’s

Course Dinner, Main Course
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 8



  • 2 1/2 pounds tilapia or other white fish
  • 2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce

Fish Breading

  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp old bay seasoning
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • oil for frying
  • lemons to serve


  • 1 head cabbage shredded 12 cups
  • 1/2 cup carrots shredded
  • 1/3 cup green onion chopped
  • 1 cup sweet onion shaved
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown mustard

Hush Puppies

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup onion minced
  • 2 tbsp cilantro chopped
  • 2 tbsp green onions chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp butter melted



  • Combine the buttermilk and hot sauce in a bowl. Submerge the fish in the mixture, cover and refrigerate while making the other items.

Fish Breading

  • Mix all of the dry ingredients and set aside until ready to fry the fish. Heat the oil to 375 degrees. Drain the fish from the buttermilk and coat with the breading. Drop a few pieces of fish at a time into the oil. Cook until crisp and drain on paper towels. Season with salt. Serve with lemons.


  • In a large bowl combine the cabbage, carrots, and green onion. Mix in the mayo, sugar, salt, pepper, celery seed, vinegar, and mustard. Season to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Hush Puppies

  • Combine the dry ingredients. Add the onion, cilantro, and green onion. Mix in the egg, buttermilk, and butter. Refrigerate until ready to fry. Heat the oil to 375 degrees. Scoop the batter into the hot oil. Flip the puppies halfway through cooking. Drain and serve.

Leave a Reply