One of the stars of Fish Meat
, catfish (a diverse group of the order Siluriformes) only makes its cameo appearance at the end of the documentary when we talk about what you can do to eat better seafood. Spoiler alert! It’s because catfish are a recommended farmed seafood
Catfish are low on the food chain. So low, in fact, that most of them are bottom dwellers (a little fishy humor). Does this make them taste like the substrate that they feed on? Nope. Catfish are very juicy and delicious with just enough of that yummy fat (omega-3 fatty acids, anyone?) to make them caramelize when cooked and tickle your taste buds.In the United States, catfish is often served fried, but I like to eat them marinated with soy sauce and sesame oil on the grill, or “en papillote” by wrapping them in aluminum foil along with my favorite herbs and veggies and putting them in the oven so all the delicious juices run together.
Virtually all commercial catfish in the US are channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus). Channel catfish are ideal for aquaculture because they do well in a variety of aquaculture methods (ponds, cages, and raceways), under a variety of temperatures and handle crowding very well. Aside from being a food fish, catfish are important biologically. Adults eat aquatic insects, freshwater crayfish, and small fish; while young fish eat primarily aquatic detritus, aquatic insects, and zooplankton.
A recommendation from the movie Fish Meat.
And in case you were wondering about their name, catfish are so named because of the barbels (whisker-like appendages) found on many species.
Fun fact: On June 25, 1987, President Ronald Reagan established National Catfish Day to recognize “the value of farm-raised catfish.”
Image source Fish Navy Films and here