Nashville hot fish recipe

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Inspiration for this dish comes from Bolton’s Spicy Chicken & Fish. Lightly season the cornmeal for dredging the fish, then add the wet and dry spices after frying to allow for customization of heat.

  • Yield: 4 Servings


  • 4 mild white fish fillets
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 cups (245 g) yellow cornmeal
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 2 cups (480 ml) vegetable oil
  • 4 slices white bread
  • Yellow mustard
  • Pickles
  • 1 large white onion, sliced
How to Make It
  1. Place the fish on a clean surface. Gently pat it dry and season it with salt and pepper. Allow the fish to come up to room temperature.
  2. In a shallow dish, combine the cornmeal with the paprika and 1 teaspoon of the cayenne.
  3. In a small bowl prepare the dry spice by combining the remaining 2 tablespoons cayenne with the chili powder, cumin, and ¼ teaspoon salt.
  4. In another small bowl, combine the ketchup and hot sauce.
  5. In a 9-inch (23-cm) cast-iron skillet, heat the oil over medium-high until it reaches 325 to 350°F (165 to 175°C). Dredge the fish in the cornmeal mixture. When the oil has reached the proper temperature, carefully place the fish into it using tongs. Be careful not to overcrowd the fish. Fry the fillets for 2 to 3 minutes per side, depending on their thickness. When they are golden and lightly browned, transfer them to a paper-towel-lined plate.
  6. While the fish is still warm, sprinkle it with the desired amount of dry spice to get the heat you want.
  7. When the fish has cooled enough to serve, place each piece on a slice of white bread and stripe it with yellow mustard and the ketchup mixture, then pile on pickles and white onion.

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