In 1984, President Ronald Reagan declared the month of August as National Catfish Month.This declaration highlights the U.S. Catfish Industry’s contribution not only to the economy but also what it provides to the consumer: a healthy, safe, and great-tasting product.U.S. farm-raised catfish is the No.1 farm-raised finfish in America.Ninety-four percent of all U.S. farm-raised catfish is raised in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
Another reason to celebrate National Catfish Month is that catfish, both farm-raised and wild, are a good nutritional “catch.” Catfish are an excellent source of protein, providing 50-60 percent of an adult’s daily protein needs for a 3-ounce serving. They also are low in calories and saturated fat. Catfish are also an excellent source of Vitamin B12. One 3-ounce fillet cooked without added fat contains only 85 calories, 17 grams of protein and has only 2 grams of saturated fat.Moderate fish consumption- one to two meals a week- may cut the risk of sudden cardiac death in half, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. Catfish also contain a variety of trace vitamins and minerals and are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.According to the American Heart Association, consumers should eat two servings of fish per week to prevent coronary heart disease.They also recommend that children age 2 years and older eat one to two servings of fish per week to promote development and growth.
If you are ready to add catfish to your dinner table, select fish fillets that are moist with no drying or browning around the edges.Buy fish that has been sitting on ice. When purchasing fresh fish, look for clear, bulging eyes, elastic, firm flesh, shiny skin, and close fitting scales.Remember to use fresh fish within two days of purchase.Frozen fish packages should not have freezer burn, off-color, or be covered with ice crystals.If it smells bad and looks bad it probably is bad and should not be eaten.To thaw frozen fish, either thaw in the refrigerator or in a sealed bag submersed in water.Cook fish until opaque in color and it flakes easily.
Grilled Catfish with Citrus Marinade
4 U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish Fillets
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1. Place fillets in shallow glass dish.
2. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over fillets.
3. Chill for 1 to 3 hours.
4. Preheat grill.
5. Grill fillets over high heat, rounded side down, for 3 to 4 minutes.
6. Turn fillets and grill for 3 to 4 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
Approximate nutritional analysis (per serving): calories, 284; protein, 26 g; carbohydrates, 3 g; fiber, 0; fat, 19 g; cholesterol, 75 mg; sodium, 588 mg.
Sources: uscatfish.com, The Catfish Institute and LSU AgCenter