Here's a great way to duplicate the light and crispy taste of fried fish without the fat. Lightly coating the fillets, rather than the skillet, with vegetable cooking spray allows the oil to evenly cover the surface of the fish. The natural sugars found in paprika caramelize with the yellow cornmeal, producing a beautiful brown color. We used catfish fillets, but any mild-flavored fish will work equally well.
Light and Crispy Pan-fried Catfish: Sprinkle 4 (6-ounce) catfish fillets evenly with salt and pepper to taste (or use a spicy seasoning blend, such as Creole or Caribbean jerk). Stir together 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal and 1 tablespoon paprika in a shallow dish. Dredge fillets in cornmeal mixture; coat lightly with vegetable cooking spray. Cook in a hot, nonstick skillet over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until fish begins to flake and is opaque throughout. Makes 4 servings. Prep: 5 min., Cook: 8 min.
Rather than shopping for a specific type of fish, see what looks the freshest. Truly fresh fish smells only faintly of the sea. It should be stored on ice in the display counter and should be well drained. Fish fillets and steaks should look moist and firm, with no discoloration or dryness around the edges.