How to wash Catfish before Cooking, Baking or Frying

Photo of Cleaning Catfish: How to Clean a Catfish Before Cooking/Frying

There are simple and easy ways to wash catfish before cooking, smoking, frying, or baking. This is done by washing the catfish with water together with other substances that ensure easy and fast removal of the slime. You can watch the Youtube Video below to see how to wash and clean catfish thoroughly to remove the slimy nature of the skin. It is not that difficult as a lot of people may think, the only task involved here is knowing the right tool on how to remove the slime from catfish.

Catfish recipes are very delicious and healthy that anyone would love to include on his food menu;  the only hard thing about this particular fish is knowing how to clean a catfish before cooking it.

All fish have more or less limy substance on the outer flesh. The slime is part of a fish’s mechanical defense mechanism against minor injuries and pathogenic organisms. However, Catfish is a very popular fish with slimy flesh; since they are smooth on the outer flesh with no scales, they are naturally covered with a thick slimy layer, which needs to be pulled out or scraped before boiling, smoking or cooking the fish.

The slimy substances can be removed using different tools or by following some simple methods. However, this article explains the simple steps on how to clean catfish before cooking it in just a few minutes. Here are some simple ways on how to clean a catfish.

Table of Contents

Items needed for washing Catfish

To clean catfish you will need:

  • Sponge
  • Hot water
  • Salt  or lime or lemon juice to get the work done easily
  • A big bowl or container

Methods of washing and cleaning Catfish

  1. Hot water method
  2. Use of Lime or lemon juice method
  3. Use of vinegar
  4. Salt method
  5. Sponge and a board method

Other things you can use to wash catfish include things like alum, garri, vinegar, and ash. All of these can be used to clean catfish and they are all effective as well. Their use depends on their availability in your area.

How to Wash and clean Catfish with Hot Water

  1. Cut the fish into your preferred sizes and set aside.
  2. Boil 2 cups of water on a stovetop, let the water be moderately hot but don’t let it boil.
  3. Pour the moderately hot water over the catfish, you will notice the fish becoming harden and stiff. This will make it easy to wash out the slimy surface.
  4. Used both hands to squeeze and scrub the fish until you have finally pulled out the viscous liquid from the catfish.
  5. Take time to clean the head of the catfish; you can add a little salt to aid in the cleaning process.
  6. After removing the slimy substance from the body of the catfish, remove the intestines and the gills. You will also notice some whitish fats in the fish. Those parts form the eggs, some people eat these parts of the fish. If you don’t like these particular parts, take them off, rinse the catfish into a medium pot, and cook it exactly how you want.

See: how to prepare catfish pepper soup

How to Clean and Wash Catfish with Lime/Lemon Juice

Lime or Lemon juice has an acidic property that is able to remove the slimy substance from the catfish easily. The lemon juice binds the sticky liquid as it comes in contact with the fish, thereby making it simpler to clean the fish skin. This happens too when you use vinegar or hot water to wash catfish. For the hot water, the temperature of the water decreases the density of the slimy juice, thereby making the substance to curdle on the fish body for easy cleaning.

How to wash and clean Catfish with Salt

Salt too has an abrasive property, which is able to reduce the viscosity of a substance easily.

  1. To wash catfish with salt, place the fish on a sink.
  2. Rub some coarse salt on the body of the fish and scrub with your hand until the slime breaks down.
  3. Rinse the fish thoroughly before cooking

How to clean and wash Catfish with a Sponge on a Board

The last method requires a board and sponge, here you will need to place the catfish on a wide meat cutting board, then use a sponge to scrub the body of the fish while soaking the sponge in either warm or hot water, you will need to do this until there is no more sliminess on the catfish. This method is simple and straightforward as well, but it has to be done on a sink or outside the house so that the slimy water wouldn’t drain on the floor of your kitchen.

  1. To clean catfish with a sponge, place the catfish on a kitchen board.
  2. Bring a bowl of either warm or hot water near you.
  3. Soak the sponge in the water and remove it to scrub the body of the catfish. Try applying a little force so that you will be able to pull out all the slimy substance from the fish.
  4. When you are done, repeat the process like two times until you can’t find any trace of viscous substance on the body of the catfish.
  5. Lastly, add some salt and a little lime to help clean the head properly.

After using any of the above methods to clean your catfish, remove the intestines and the gills, you will also notice some whitish fats in the fish. Those parts form the eggs, some people eat these parts of the fish, if you don’t like that particular parts, take them off and rinse the fish into a medium pot and cook as you want.