Gluten-Free Pan Fried Catfish

Gluten-Free Pan Fried Catfish
Golden pan fried catfish fillet with crisp baby greens and brown rice.

Life's a Beach

One of the juicy, inspiring gifts of an empty nest is the big sky freedom to pull up roots and wander. And long time readers know- we have been doing just that. Wandering our hearts out. We are gypsies. Moving six seven eight times since selling our family home on Cape Cod seven years ago, migrating West through Santa Fe, then various neighborhoods in Los Angeles county. Most recently, landing back East, in a rustic old barn one mile away from my childhood home in Connecticut. With each and every move we sold off or donated the outworn- from bookcases to boots. Trying on new digs and studios along the way, from loft style apartments to an antique carriage house.

After this beast of a winter here in the Northeast- I am once again longing to call a sun-warmed beach my home. Craving the rhythmic crash of the waves. Dreaming of open windows and simple rooms swept with sea glass tinted sunlight and salt air. Shaking out pillows and bedding that smell like surf.

{Listen to my son's music as you read this post- a song from his new album Science of Noise::

We just got back from a short week in Southern California. I walked Ocean Beach, and Coronado, and one of my favorites- Torrey Pines Beach. A handful of perfect days. No frills. No expensive meals or excursions. Just picnic style food, conversation, and walks. Mapping out the next move, exploring possibilities. Our lease here is up soon. And we need to move on.

So here's what I know.

My sons live in California.

My heart beats softer near the ocean.

A big (BIG) birthday fast approaches. The kind of birthday that causes one to blink- and consider new choices very, very carefully.

I need to live somewhere I can cup my hands and carve the space to imagine new things.

The journey to here was a twisting road. We were more than once disappointed, looking for tiny clues swept clean by the hot desert winds of New Mexico, clues that teased and preceded us and left the enchanted landscape unforgiving, heavy with the scents of sunlit juniper and sage. We've been told (by those who know such things) that the high desert draws you in with a force, a power that triggers dreams- not the angel-sugared bedtime dreams of lullabies, but the tough stuff. The unconscious. The unknown Self. The shadow. And that if you falter, if you brace yourself with old defenses and cling to the familiar, she spits you out. And sends you packing (in my case, with three titanium screws drilled into a broken hip).

Did the desert spit us out, or did I simply dream a different dream?

Today it does not matter.

Because this I also know.

I have begun each day curious. I have listened. And walked. And stared at the horizon. I have read stacks of books. I have painted. And I have cooked. I have kissed and I have cried.

And through it all I missed the sea more than I ever could have imagined. My love for her is a daughter's love, her maternal pull is deep and tidal.

So here we are. Miles later. Travelers, both of us. Once again packing boxes. One more time wondering if new rooms will fit us. If unfamiliar walls will shelter us. If this next dream is the destination we seek- or one more step of the journey.

Right now my heart is full.

And some ghostly fist inside me has unclenched.

I stared at the waves for hours this week. I walked in the sand. I have decided to live near the beach again. My old dream come true.

All I need is a studio.

But as a wise soul once said, be careful what you wish for.

You just might get it.

Pan fried catfish that is gluten free and dairy free delicious
Gluten-free golden fried catfish fillet- tender and tasty.


Gluten-Free Pan Fried Catfish Recipe with Brown Rice and Baby Greens

Recipe posted by Karina Allrich May 2011.

One of my favorite simple dinners is pan fried catfish. So flavorful. The texture is lovely- flaky, and tender. Here I've made a crumb style coating with three gluten-free flours. The combo of almond meal, coconut flour and brown rice flour creates a light and delicate coating that fries to a crispy golden brown.


4 (6 to 8-ounce) skinless catfish fillets
1 beaten organic free range egg
1/2 cup almond meal
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon dried oregano or parsley
1 teaspoon dried minced garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup light olive oil or vegetable oil, for frying
Lime wedges, for serving
Fresh herb salad greens, for serving
Hot cooked brown rice, seasoned with olive oil and sea salt, for serving


Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper, and place it in a warm oven.

Rinse the catfish fillets briefly in cool water and pat dry.

Place the fillets in a shallow baking dish, in a single layer. Pour the beaten egg mixture over the catfish, and make sure each fillet is evenly coated on both sides. Set aside.

In separate shallow dish, whisk together the almond meal, coconut flour, brown rice flour, smoked paprika, dill, oregano, garlic, and sea salt.

Working with one fillet at a time, remove it from the egg mixture and dredge it in the gluten-free flour mixture to coat both sides. Transfer the coated fillet to a clean plate. Repeat for the remaining fillets.

Heat the light olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, carefully add two fillets to the skillet, and fry until the underside is golden and crisp, roughly 4 minutes. Using a thin, flexible spatula, gently turn the fillet over and continue cooking until it is crispy golden brown on the second side, about 3 to 4 minutes more.

Carefully transfer the cooked fillets to a parchment lined baking sheet in a warm oven. Repeat the process with remaining fillets.

Serve the catfish with a crisp, fresh herb salad and hot cooked brown rice. Garnish with fresh lime wedges and snips of fresh dill.

Cook time: 8 min for the catfish

Yield: Serves 4

Recipe Source:

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xox Karina