what's the best/healthiest way to prepare catfish? Also a good side rec?
Well, I'm not sure this is the healthiest. But it's very good.
Soak in lime and garlic.
Cook down a jar of salsa..to bright red. (homemade salsa with just cherry tomatoes sliced and pepper and lime is better).
Dust the fish with cornmeal. And fry in olive oil. (reserve and warm).
Finish the sauce with softened butter and a shot of tequila and more lime juice.
For healthy: Prehaps cooked in foil/paper with lemon, ginger slices, Garlic, paprika, and sake or sherry.
Or adjust the above with steaming in paper with tomatoes, mild peppers, and tequila, lime and garlic.
And of course salt to taste for all the above.
I've only eaten catfish, never cooked it. From an eater's point of view, I'm partial to the Southern version of catfish breaded in cornmeal and shallow-fried, with sides of onion-y deep-fried hush puppies and cole slaw made with cider vinegar, mayo and sugar.
My mom sometimes cooked it Filipino-style (Guinataan) with onion, garlic and coconut milk. I'm not fond of this version, but a lot of people love it. I did, however, like her grilled versions, which always included garlic, onion and something sour or tart such as tomatoes, calamansi (lime) juice or white vinegar. She always served it with plain white rice and boiled greens of some kind.
Try this recipe. It's very light and flavorful: