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Best Sauces For Fried Catfish ⋆ 8 You Have To Choose From ⋆

Are you looking to fry up some catfish? Are you wondering what sauces you can pair alongside it; that complement its flavors and work nicely? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Today, I am going to be sharing with you the best combinations, those you’ll want to avoid, and most importantly, point you in the right direction for getting these sauces prepared and made.

So, what are the best sauces for fried catfish? The best sauces for fried catfish include Remoulade sauce, Cajun sauce, kickback sauce, tartar sauce, Caribbean jerk sauce, Creole cream sauce, Creole Ravigote sauce, and Crawfish au gratin sauce. 

If you’re eating out, fried catfish tends to be served with Creole and Cajun sauces.

Sometimes a French sauce, like remoulade, gets a Creole makeover!

Though, sometimes it’s just the traditional recipe used, such as a simple tartar sauce!

It ultimately depends on where you go.

And as you can tell, you can choose from a cooked sauce or a cold, mayonnaise-based sauce. 

So with this all in mind, below you’ll find more information on these sauces for catfish. Then we will look at those sauces you’ll want to avoid.

The Best Sauces For Fried Catfish

Remoulade Sauce

If you grew up in Denmark, you know that you buy remoulade sauce in a bottle over there.

Commonly served with fish or french fries. However, the more traditional version of remoulade sauce is homemade and easy to make.

At least if you don’t decide to make the mayo from scratch. Then it requires a bit more effort (and if you do, ensure you get the eggs from a trusted farm, so they don’t contain salmonella).

So what are the ingredients you’ll need to make remoulade sauce? Mayo, Creole mustard, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, paprika powder, and Worcestershire sauce.

Well, this is the Memphis-style version of the sauce.

For this sauce, all you need to do is combine the ingredients in a bowl and stir till well combined. 

You can find the full recipe here

If you want a more traditional recipe for remoulade sauce, it contains mayonnaise, chopped cornichon or dill pickle, chopped capers, lemon juice, chopped parsley, dried tarragon, a dash of hot sauce, and salt. 

You can find the full recipe here

Cajun Sauce

Another mayonnaise-based recipe, this one also contains milk. You’ll need mayo, milk, seafood seasoning, thyme leaves, honey, and garlic powder. 

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy. 

You’ll find the full recipe here

Kickback Sauce

As you’ll see, most sauces on this list are spicy mayo-based sauces, and this is no exception. 

For this recipe, you’ll need mayo, spicy brown mustard, lime juice, honey, brown sugar, mustard powder, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and salt. 

Again, the sauce is super simple to make. You have to squeeze the juice out of the lime, but that’s practically the hardest part!

Then you simply combine the ingredients and stir. You want them to be well-combined.

This sauce, and other mayo-based sauces on this list, taste best if you let them rest for a couple of minutes to half an hour.

You can also keep them in the fridge in an airtight container if eating later in the day. 

You’ll find the full recipe here.

Tartar Sauce

Another classic sauce to serve with fish is tartar sauce. 

For this recipe, you’ll need mayo, dill or sweet pickle relish, lemon juice, prepared horseradish (though surely you can use the fresh version, too), hot sauce, and Cajun seasoning. 

As with the other recipes, you pop all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Let sit for a while if you want the flavors to blend. 

There are many different recipes for tartar sauce floating around the internet, and you can find more traditional versions (without the Cajun seasoning) if you prefer. 

Find the full recipe here

Caribbean Jerk Sauce

This sauce is a tad different from the ones up until now on this list! In fact, it’s very different–it contains no mayo!

It also requires cooking (so definitively a sauce for a day when you have some time on your hands). 

The ingredients for this sauce are chicken broth, butter, lemon juice, lime juice, dried thyme leaves, dried coriander, allspice, salt, cornstarch, brown sugar, paprika, and liquid smoke. 

To make the sauce, combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir. Then, melt the butter in a saucepan on medium-low heat.

After the butter’s melted, whisk in the lemon and lime juice. Then whisk in the dry ingredients.

It’ll become like a paste.

Then slowly whisk in the chicken broth–you want to whisk continuously. Then, simmer on low heat for five minutes. Stir to ensure the sauce doesn’t stick. 

You’ll find the full recipe here

Creole Cream Sauce 

This sauce requires some actual cooking, but it’s still easy to make. And it’s a bit different from many of the other sauces on this list! 

The original recipe calls for serving the fried catfish with dirty rice and this Creole cream sauce. 

As the sauce contains a lobster base, you cannot serve it to people allergic to seafood. 

All the ingredients are butter, flour, lobster base, seasoning, minced garlic, chicken broth, heavy cream, and shredded parmesan. 

To make it, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour slowly and continue to whisk for one to two minutes.

Add the lobster base, still whisking, till incorporated. Season to taste. 

Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional one to two minutes. Then stir in the chicken broth and cream, and reduce the heat to low. Let simmer for two to three minutes. 

Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the parmesan cheese and serve immediately. 

You’ll find the full recipe here

Crawfish Au Gratin Sauce 

If you thought the previous recipe was too complicated, then this one certainly isn’t for you! However, if you’re looking to make a nice seafood sauce, then it’s exactly the right sauce for you. 

By the way, crayfish and crawfish are the same. Depending on where you live, you’ll use one name or the other. 

To make this sauce, you’ll need butter, diced onion, diced green bell pepper, minced garlic, flour, sugar, chicken base, crab base, granulated garlic, dried basil, ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, dried thyme, milk, American cheese (or other cheese), white wine, milk, peeled crawfish tails, and sliced green onions. 

When making it, use a heavy-bottomed skillet. Then, over medium heat, melt the butter.

Once melted, sautée the onions, peppers, and garlic until wilted. Add the flour and stir until a blond roux is formed (i.e., don’t let it brown). It should take about two minutes.

Then, stir in the sugar, chicken base, crab base, granulated garlic, basil, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and thyme.

Continue to stir constantly and add in the wine and milk. Continue to cook while stirring until the sauce thickens. 

Once the sauce reaches the desired consistency, add the cheese and stir until the cheese has melted. 

Add the crawfish tails and keep cooking until they’ve been warmed through–about four minutes.

Remove from heat, add the green onions and serve immediately. 

You’ll find the full recipe here

Creole Ravigote Sauce 

This sauce is really just a variation on a theme of some of the previous cold sauces, but it’s a nice sauce to explore, nonetheless, so let’s include it! 

To make it, you’ll need mayo, chopped capers, chopped cornichons, Creole mustard, prepared horseradish, lemon juice, hot sauce, and chopped fresh herbs–a combination of chives, tarragon, and parsley. 

To make it, pop the ingredients in a bowl and stir. 

You’ll find the full recipe here

What Types of Sauces Pair Best With Fried Catfish?

Cold dipping sauces like remoulade and Creole tartar sauce, as well as Cajun sauce, are clear winners. Cooked creamy seafood sauces also work well. 

As you can tell from this list, a mayo-based sauce flavored with fresh herbs, hot sauce, Creole mustard, horseradish, and sometimes some other ingredients, such as chopped pickles, tend to top our list.

Sometimes it’s Cajun seasoning that’s used to flavor the sauce. 

From this, you can also tell where fried catfish is popular–in the Cajun and Creole kitchens. 

Likewise, the seafood sauces that require some cooking (and cheese in addition to the seafood) are often Cajun or Creole-inspired. 

You can also make a Caribbean jerk sauce if you want something a bit different and smoky. 

Find yourself in a rush? Serve the fried catfish with some hot sauce or hot sauce mixed with mayo.

You can also make aioli–just add some garlic to your mayo. Perhaps some lemon juice too.

If mayo alone is too heavy for you, sub with half sour cream or half Greek yogurt.  

If any cold sauce recipe calls for fresh garlic, you can always use cooked garlic in case you find fresh garlic too strong.

Boil the garlic cloves in their peel, then peel them and mash them up. I find this mellows out the taste (and the stink afterward). 

What Sauces To Avoid Serving With Fried Catfish 

Ketchup feels a bit too simple when serving catfish. If you want ketchup, at least blend it with some mayo and hot sauce, and stir in some Cajun seasoning. Likewise, while mustard features in many mayo-based sauces, mustard alone is not a smash hit. 

You see above what type of sauces are generally served with catfish. As such, you avoid most of the rest!

You wouldn’t say, serve it with a sweet chili sauce. Or a soy dipping sauce. 

That said, your tastebuds are your own–you’re free to experiment.

All I can say is what fried catfish is usually served with and what has become treasured fried catfish sauces! 

Looking for the best fish sauce pairings? Then check out my definitive guide below: