Cajun Fried Fish and Grits

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This Cajun Fried Fish and Cheese Grits recipe will become one of your new brunch favorites because the crispy, crunchy fish over parmesan grits combination is mind-blowing.

Cajun Fried Fish and Grits

I know most people are used to shrimp and grits for brunch and overlook the jam-packed flavors that fish and grits bring to the party.

Growing up in New Orleans, I had to learn how to fry fish; it’s a rite of passage. For breakfast at Temple’s house, cheese grits were served every Saturday morning. I take my grits pretty seriously. So be aware this grits recipe is simple to make and loaded with tons of flavor.

I once cooked for a client’s rehearsal dinner, and everybody was raving about how smooth and creamy my mashed potatoes and fried fish were; I was, confused because mashed potatoes weren’t on the menu. They were talking about my cheese grits. I am going to teach you that exact recipe.

See, I had to learn how to cook grits properly, or my dad was going to write me out of his will, LOL.  Seriously though, let me show you how to make some Cajun fried fish the New Orleans way!

fish and grits on a plate

Are Fish and Grits Southern?

Yes, fish and grits are southern! Grits are a very popular breakfast food in the South. They are a southern staple. Grits are served with butter, salt, pepper, and cheddar cheese. Grits can be topped with gravy, red, or butter sauce. The options are unlimited for the flexibility of grits.

Fried fish is a popular dinner item that can be found on dinner tables from church picnics, tailgating, family gathers, Sunday dinners, and restaurants. So putting these two items together was a match made in heaven. Everyone fries fish with their own seasoning blend and have different techniques to get the perfect crispy fish every time.

fried fish in grits on plate

Key Ingredients

Before you start whipping up this Cajun fried fish and cheese grits, look at this list of ingredients to make sure you have everything you need for some good eating!

Cajun Seasoning

It’s important to use a Cajun seasoning that’s layered with flavor and not just salt. That’s why I use Savory Cajun Seasoning; this low-sodium Cajun seasoning has all the flavors of New Orleans.

Fish Fillets

You can use whatever fish you love fried. My first choice is redfish.

Buttermilk

It’s not southern fried unless buttermilk is involved.

Grits

I never was raised on instant grits, only old-fashion (regular grits) and stone ground grits.

Heavy Cream

Heavy cream is how we make smooth and creamy grits.

Cheese

We’ve all seen grit recipes with sharp cheddar cheese or smoked gouda, but parmesan is the cheese everyone is sleeping on!

two plates of fried fish and grits

How to Make Fried fish and grits recipe?

Frying fish is a technique that doesn’t take long to master, but grits can take a while to master if you haven’t been taught one simple tip that consistently produces smooth and creamy grits.

Cajun Fish: Fill a cast iron pan or large, heavy bottom skillet halfway with oil over medium-high heat until the oil temperature reaches 350°F. Season buttermilk and flour with 2 teaspoons of 

Cajun seasoning. Season each fillet evenly on both sides with the remaining seasoning. Dredge fish in buttermilk, then flour; make sure to let any excess buttermilk drain off and shake off any excess flour.

Fry fish: in hot oil for 3-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until golden brown. The thickness of fish may reduce or increase the time. If frying fish in batches, place the cooked fish on a paper towel-lined sheet pan in a 200˚F oven.

Cheese Grits: In a 4-quart pot, bring water, heavy cream, kosher salt, black pepper, and unsalted butter to a boil. Whisk in grits, lower heat, and cover for 10 minutes until grits are thick and smooth; whisk occasionally. Stir in parmesan until the cheese melts. Taste and adjust seasoning.   

Serve cheesy grits: on a plate, then mound fried fish on top, and garnish with hot sauce and green onions. Serve immediately.

Fish and grits on a plate

Pro Recipe Tips & Tricks

Here are a few notes I had for making the best fish and grits.

  • If you’re hosting a group, use a deep-fryer or Dutch oven to fry fish.
  • Cut the fish into strips to stretch it if you feed a large crowd.
  • Using tongs to turn fish in a skillet decreases the amount of liquid that will splash out.
  • Let your fish sit in buttermilk for 1 hour to give it a more depth of flavor.
  • You can use canola or vegetable oil instead of peanut oil.
  • Use your favorite Cajun/Creole seasoning instead of Savory seasoning.
  • Feel free to use whole milk as a swap for buttermilk.
  • You can use cornmeal or Louisiana fish fry instead of flour.
  • Don’t try to fry too much fish at once. If you overcrowd the skillet or deep fryer, it will lower the temperature and cause the fish to steam instead of properly frying.
  • Feel free to use smoked gouda or sharp cheddar cheese in your grits.
  • You can use quick grits if that’s all you have.
  • Use polenta if you cannot find grits.
  • White grits are traditional, but yellow grits look great for presentation.
  • If you’re using salted butter, leave the salt out of the recipe. You can always add more later if needed.
  • Take your grits to the next level by using chicken broth instead of water.
  • You can use half-and-half or whole milk instead of heavy cream.
  • The key to cooking creamy grits is to stir them in as the water is boiling.
  • Stone ground grits take longer to cook than other varieties because the kernels are cut coarsely.
  • A whisk is the best tool for stirring grits because it can reach all around the edges of the pot.
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Piece of fish and grits

FAQs

Here are the top questions readers have about fish and grits

What is fish and grits?

Fish and grits are a staple in the Southern region of the United States. You can make blackened or fried fish and serve over creamy cheese grits.

What goes with fish and grits?

Fish and grits are a complete meal by themselves. You can serve it with bacon, sausage, a cheese omelet, or a fruit salad. I love to serve mine with hot sauce and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

What vegetables go with fish and grits?

There are only two vegetables that I recommend serving with fish and grits. Collards green and a fresh green salad. Both will help lighten the meal.

What types of fish are used for fish and grits?

The type of fish used will depend on what’s available in your local area. Fried catfish is everybody’s first choice, but I recommend trying snapper, redfish, speckled trout, or whiting fish.

two plates of fish and grits

What’s the difference between Creole seasoning and Cajun seasoning?

The difference between Creole and Cajun seasoning is marketing. They’re both made with the same ingredients, with slight variations of the amount of cayenne pepper depending on the company.

How to store fish and grits?

Cheese grits are best eaten immediately but will remain fresh for 1 day in the fridge.

To reheat cold grits, place in a pot with ¼ cup of milk or stock for 5 minutes or until hot and creamy.

Cajun fried fish is best served hot out of the oil. However, it will remain fresh, covered in an airtight container for 7 days in the fridge.

Reheat fried fish by baking it a 400˚F for 6-8 minutes until hot.

More Southern Recipes

If you’re a fan of fish and grits, then you’ll enjoy these recipes!

Latest Recipe Video:

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Before You Begin

Before getting started, here are the steps I use to get organized.

Step 1:Get all ingredients for the Cajun fried fish and cheese grits on the counter.

Step 2: Measure everything out.

Step 3: Follow the recipe and get ready for the best fish and grits you’ve ever enjoyed.

If you’re looking for an easy, delicious brunch item that will wow, your guests, look no further than these Cajun fried fish and cheese grits. This dish is simple to make but packed with a lot of flavors. Be sure to leave a comment and star rating below if you give it a try!

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Cajun Fish and Grits on a plate

Cajun Fried Fish and Grits

Kenneth Temple
This Cajun Fried Fish and Cheese Grits recipe will become one of your new brunch favorites because the crispy, crunchy fish over parmesan grits combination is mind-blowing.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Main Course
Cuisine Cajun, Southern
Servings 4 persons
Calories 916 kcal

Ingredients
  

Cajun Fried Fish:

  • oil for frying
  • 4 filets redfish or trout cut in half if filets are large
  • 3 tablespoons Savory Cajun Seasoning divided
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • hot sauce

Grits:

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup stone ground grits no instant grits
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan
  • 1 chopped green onion

Instructions
 

Cajun Fish:

  • Fill a cast iron pan or large heavy bottom skillet halfway with oil over medium-high heat until the oil temperature reaches 350°F. Season buttermilk and flour with 2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning. Season each fillet evenly on both sides with the remaining seasoning. Dredge fish in buttermilk, then flour; make sure to let any excess buttermilk drain off and shake off any excess flour.
  • Fry fish in hot oil for 3-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until golden brown. The thickness of fish may reduce or increase the time. If frying fish in batches, place the cooked fish on a paper towel-lined sheet pan in a 200˚F oven.

Cheese Grits:

  • In a 4-quart pot, bring water, heavy cream, kosher salt, black pepper, and unsalted butter to a boil. Whisk in grits, lower heat to low, and cover for 10 minutes until grits are thick and smooth, whisk occasionally. Stir in parmesan until the cheese melts. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  • Serve cheesy grits on a plate, mound fried fish on top, and garnish with hot sauce and green onions. Serve immediately.

Notes

Pro Recipe Tips & Tricks
Here are a few notes I had for making the best fish and grits.
  • If you’re hosting a group, use a deep-fryer or Dutch oven to fry fish.
  • Cut the fish into strips to stretch if you’re feeding a large crowd.
  • Using tongs to turn fish in a skillet decreases the amount of liquid that will splash out.
  • Let your fish sit in buttermilk for 1 hour to give it a more depth of flavor.
  • You can use canola or vegetable oil instead of peanut oil.
  • Use your favorite Cajun/Creole seasoning instead of Savory seasoning.
  • Feel free to use whole milk as a swap for buttermilk.
  • You can use cornmeal or Louisiana fish fry instead of flour.
  • Don’t try to fry too much fish at once. If you overcrowd the skillet or deep fryer, it will lower the temperature and cause the fish to steam instead of properly frying.
  • Feel free to use smoked gouda or sharp cheddar cheese in your grits.
  • You can use quick grits if that’s all you have.
  • Use polenta if you cannot find grits.
  • White grits are traditional, but yellow grits look great for presentation.
  • If you’re using salted butter, leave the salt out of the recipe. You can always add more later if needed.
  • Take your grits to the next level by using chicken broth instead of water. Y
  • ou can use half-and-half or whole milk instead of heavy cream.
  • The key to cooking creamy grits is to stir them in as the water is boiling.
  • Stone ground grits take longer to cook than other varieties because the kernels are cut coarsely.
  • A whisk is the best tool for stirring grits because it can reach all around the edges of the pot.
Storage:
Cheesy grits are best eaten immediately but will remain fresh for 1 day in the fridge.
To reheat cold grits, place in a pot with ¼ cup of milk or stock for 5 minutes or until hot and creamy.
Cajun fried fish is best served hot out of the oil. However, it will remain fresh, covered in an airtight container for 7 days in the fridge.
Reheat fried fish by baking it a 400˚F for 6-8 minutes until hot.

Nutrition

Calories: 916kcalCarbohydrates: 65gProtein: 22gFat: 64gSaturated Fat: 40gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 189mgSodium: 1381mgPotassium: 442mgFiber: 3gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 5096IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 472mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Cajun fish and grits, Cajun fish recipe, Cajun fish recipes fried, fish and cheese grits, fish and grits recipe, fish n grits
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