Fried Catfish Sandwich With Pickled Watermelon Rind Slaw

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. 

Fried Catfish Sandwich With Pickled Watermelon Rind Slaw
Photo: Southern Living
Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
35 mins
4 serves



  • 2 cups peeled and thinly sliced jicama (2- x 1/8-in. strips) (from 1 medium jicama)

  • 2 cups Pickled Watermelon Rind

  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage (from 1 small head cabbage)

  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced yellow bell pepper (2- x 1/8-in. strips) (from 1 medium bell pepper)

  • 1/2 cup matchstick carrots (from 1 [10-oz.] pkg. matchstick carrots)

  • 1/2 cup mixed chopped fresh herbs (such as basil, parsley, and chives)

  • 2 tablespoons pickling liquid from Pickled Watermelon Rind

Fried Catfish

  • Canola oil

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 tablespoon tablespoon water

  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 2 catfish fillets (about 1½ lb.), cut in half crosswise

Additional Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 4 French sandwich rolls (such as Francisco International)


  1. Prepare the slaw: Toss together all slaw ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside until ready to serve.

  2. 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.

  3. Spread mayonnaise evenly inside rolls. Place 1 fried fillet inside each roll, and top each with 1 cup slaw.

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