Fried Catfish Sandwich With Pickled Watermelon Rind Slaw
Photo: Stephen DeVries; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen
No need to waste the watermelon rind! Pickle the tangy scraps overnight (infusing hints of ginger and star anise) and mix into a carrot, cabbage, and jicama slaw. The result? A new go-to side or topper for anything salty and fried, like our crispy catfish sandwich.
2 cups peeled and thinly sliced jicama (2- x 1/8-in. strips) (from 1 medium jicama)
1 cup shredded red cabbage (from 1 small head cabbage)
½ cup thinly sliced yellow bell pepper (2- x 1/8-in. strips) (from 1 medium bell pepper)
½ cup matchstick carrots (from 1 [10-oz.] pkg. matchstick carrots)
½ cup mixed chopped fresh herbs (such as basil, parsley, and chives)
2 tablespoons pickling liquid from Pickled Watermelon Rind
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon water
¾ cup (about 3¼ oz.) yellow cornmeal
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 catfish fillets (about 1½ lb.), cut in half crosswise
½ cup mayonnaise
4 French sandwich rolls (such as Francisco International)
How to Make It
Prepare the slaw: Toss together all slaw ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside until ready to serve.
Prepare the fried catfish: Pour oil to a depth of 3 inches in a large Dutch oven; heat to 350°F over high. Whisk together eggs and water in a medium bowl. Stir together cornmeal, flour, salt, and cayenne in a large bowl. Dip fillets in egg mixture; dredge in cornmeal mixture, coating well, and shaking off excess. Working in batches, add fillets to hot oil; fry until golden brown on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
Spread mayonnaise evenly inside rolls. Place 1 fried fillet inside each roll, and top each with 1 cup slaw.