Baking crushed pistachios on top of fish adds a delicious nutty flavor, of course. But nuts – especially pistachios – are also naturally high in fat, adding a surprisingly rich, buttery taste to the catfish fillets that I chose for this recipe. The slight crunch from the crust is also nice foil to the tender, delicate fish. I unexpectedly liked this recipe more than I thought I would. I’m not a huge fan of cooking with nuts, but after trying this, I decided that this recipe is worthy of adding to my normal weekly rotations of fish recipes.
The best eating-size catfish fall into the 5-pound range and below. If possible, fish for catfish out of cool, flowing water for the best table fare. I do not recommend eating middle-of-the-summer catfish from a stagnant pond. These fish tend to taste too much like the stinky, hot pond they came from, and they can be mushy in texture. Some of the best fish I’ve tasted were catfish caught out of a cold river during the spring spawning run.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 7-10 minutes
- 4 boneless catfish fillets
- ⅔ cup shelled pistachios
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon chopped chives
- 4 teaspoons bread crumbs
- Lemon wedges
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- To make the pistachio topping, run pistachios through a small food processor and pulse a few times to crush. Transfer pistachio into a small mixing bowl and combine with chopped parsley, coriander, chives, bread crumbs and melted butter. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Rinse catfish fillets with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of fillets and lay them on a greased baking sheet lined with foil. Evenly divide pistachio topping mixture onto each fillet, using the back of a spoon to pat down topping to form a crust.
- Bake fish in a 400-degree oven for 7-10 minutes, or until fish is flaky and cooked through and pistachio crust becomes toasty and golden. Squeeze lemon juice over each fillet before serving. (Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of catfish fillets. Be careful not to burn the pistachio topping.)