What is Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus)?

Catfish Catfish

Common names for Catfish

Channel catfish, channel cat, farm-raised catfish

Other languages for Catfish

  • French name: Poisson chat
  • Italian name: Pesce gatto
  • German name: Wels, Katzenfisch

Introduction to Catfish

Catfish farming is a true success story for the US seafood sector. It began in the 1960s in Arkansas and grew into a regional economic powerhouse as Southern soybean and rice growers constructed ponds and processing facilities. Today, the majority of catfish farms are concentrated in the Mississippi Delta, with production also occurring in Alabama, Arkansas, and Louisiana. A typical pond is sixteen acres in size and yields between 4,000 and 7,000 pounds of catfish per acre. The channel cat is one of the world’s fastest growing catfish species. Additionally, it is one of the most efficient protein converters: one pound of catfish for every two pounds of feed (compared to 7:1 for beef and 4:1 for pork). Catfish are collected at market size (1 to 1 1/2 pounds) and then transported live in tank trucks from farms to processing facilities, where they are promptly processed. Catfish is one of the most closely regulated items in the food business, with the Food and Drug Administration overseeing its cultivation.

Product profile for Catfish

Catfish has a constant sweet, mild flavor since it is a grain-fed, farmed fish. It quickly absorbs other tastes. The flesh is juicy and thick, with less flake than ordinary whitefish. Fresh catfish meat has a translucency and iridescence that ranges from white to off-white, sometimes reddish. Meat that has been cooked is opaque and white. If it’s reddish or somewhat yellow, don’t buy it. Also, uncooked catfish smells almost like raw chicken, so don’t expect it to have the oceany odor of marine fish.

Cooking tips for Catfish

Catfish is as adaptable as chicken, with a moderate flavor and unique texture; dress it up with a sophisticated sauce or dress it down for an outside barbecue. Channel catfish can be seasoned or sauced with a variety of flavors, from mild to robust. Dust fillets with corn meal and cook in vegetable oil for a traditional catfish dish; serve with hush puppies.

Nutrition facts for Catfish

Calories: 135 Fat Calories: 68 Total Fat: 7.6 g Saturated Fat: 1.8 g Cholesterol: 47 mg Sodium: 53 mg Protein: 15.5 g Omega 3: 0.4 g

Primary product forms for Catfish

Fresh: Whole, H&G, Fillets (skinless/boneless), Strips, nuggets, Steaks Frozen: Whole, H&G, Fillets (skinless/boneless), Strips, nuggets, Steaks Value-added: Breaded fillets, strips, nuggets, Marinated or seasoned fillets, strips nuggets, Prepared entrées

Global supply for Catfish

United States, Iran