One of my favorite foods of all time is battered and deep fried catfish. Served with enriched hominy grits, deep fried hush puppies and Cole slaw, it just doesn’t get any better than that on my dinner plate! We can get all the ingredients needed in the Philippines to prepare my favorite, complete with the side dishes. My wife has long been opposed to preparing catfish in the Philippines unless she knows exactly where the catfish were cultured. She told me that some people culture catfish in canals, which are full of human waste! No, I will not be eating any catfish from there. I do not like the salt water catfish in the Philippines or from anywhere else for that matter. For one thing, they are too large and the taste is not very good. And I know catfish!
I Know A Place
After talking to a number of Filipinos about fishing, I discovered exactly where to get the best catfish in this area of Negros Occidental. It is not in a fish pond. It is not in an aquarium. It is certainly not in one of those poop infested canals! It is in a rice field! Near La Carlota, south of Bacolod about 30 km or so, there is a rice farmer who cultures catfish and eel right in his rice paddy. Nice and clean fish! Catfish and eel are so plentiful, no need for a rod and reel, as all you need is a hand net. If you don’t have a hand net, don’t be alarmed because the rice farmer has one just for you, with your name on it! If you want a couple kilos of catfish or eel, no problem and you can even get a couple kilos of each if you like. It is up to you and you pay so much per kilo. Very cheepa!
Andy’s Cajun Fish Breading
One of the best commercial breading for catfish is Andy’s Cajun Style. It is available at Rustan’s Supermarkets and the cost is around P100 per package.
I will warn you, Andy’s Cajun Fish Breading is zesty. Actually, it is hot!
You can also use Andy’s Cajun Fish Breading when breading and deep frying butterfly shrimp.
Catfish is not complete without hush puppies! It is amazing how many people do not realize that I am not referring to Hush Puppies shoes. Now way, Jose! I am referring to the southern dish in which I enjoy. Hush Puppies can be traced back as an original Native American staple. It is made with cornmeal, flour and chopped onion. During today’s time, you can kick up your hush puppies by adding milk or even better, buttermilk! I have also had hush puppies that included corn kernels and Jalapeno Peppers. I refer to this style as Mexican Hush Puppies!
Kiss My Grits!
That term was made famous by Flo on her TV series in the USA way back a long time ago. Long ago and far away. Kiss my grits! I enjoy grits very much and they are made from enriched alkali treated white corn. I do not make commercial instant grits but use the coarse white corn and boil it until ready to eat. I prefer thick grits that are not thin and watery. Once again, this is a famous Southern dish but it can be traced back as a Native American staple.
I don’t know about you but I am ready for deep fried catfish, grits, hush puppies and Cole Slaw. I think you already know what Cole slaw is, di ba? Max’s Restaurant-The House That Fried Chicken Built has Cole slaw on their menu and I think most Filipinos know Max’s Restaurant!
I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod.
~ Gary ~