Food & Drink

Catfish Po’Boy with Pickled Jalapeño Tartar Sauce

Tennessee chef Trevor Stockton shares his take on a classic sandwich that’s fit for dinner guests

Photo: Jillian Adams

Crispy catfish nestled in a bed of zingy slaw, cushioned between sweet brioche buns, and slathered with pickled jalapeño tartar sauce make this sandwich a step above the rest. “The majority of the work can be done a day ahead of time, so this is a great dish for a dinner party,” says the brains behind the creation, executive chef Trevor Stockton of RT Lodge in Maryville, Tennessee. Get the recipe—and see Stockton in action—below.

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  • Catfish Po’Boy (Yield: 4 po’boys)

  • For the catfish

    • 1 (2 oz.) fresh catfish

    • 1 cup cultured buttermilk (Stockton uses Cruze Farm)

    • 1 tbsp. kosher salt

    • 2 tsp. black pepper

    • 2 tsp. smoked paprika

    • 1 tbsp. hot sauce (Stockton uses their homemade fermented jalapeño sauce; substitute with your favorite hot sauce)

  • For the cornmeal breading

    • 2 cup yellow cornmeal (Stockton uses Anson Mills)

    • 1 tbsp. kosher salt

    • 2 tsp. black pepper

    • 2 tsp. smoked paprika

  • For the pickled jalapeño tartar sauce

    • 2 cups mayonnaise

    • ¼ cup pickled jalapeño, chopped

    • 1 shallot, minced

    • ¼ cup parsley, chopped

    • 1 lemon, zest and juice

    • ¼ cup capers, chopped

  • For the vinegar slaw

    • Half a head of green cabbage, sliced thin on a mandoline or with a knife

    • ¼ cup champagne vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)

    • 2 tbsp. sugar

    • 2 tsp. celery seed

    • Salt and pepper to taste

  • For assembly

    • 2 tbsp. butter

    • 4 brioche buns


  1. Prepare the catfish: Slice catfish into 3-ounce strips and season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Let sit for 5–10 minutes. Add buttermilk and hot sauce, mix, cover, and let sit in the refrigerator for 12–24 hours.

  2. Make the pickled jalapeño tartar sauce: Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Can be made 24 hours ahead of time and lasts up to 7 days.

  3. Make the vinegar slaw: Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl, lightly massaging the cabbage. Can be done 24 hours ahead of time or at least one hour before serving.

  4. Prepare the sandwich: Set the fryer to 325°F, or heat canola oil in a dutch oven to 325°F.

  5. Heat a sauté pan on medium heat, add butter and halved brioche buns, and cook buns on either side until browned.

  6. Bread catfish in the cornmeal breading and fry for 4 minutes.

  7. Drain fried catfish on a paper towel. 

  8. Place vinegar slaw and fried catfish on the buns. Top with pickled jalapeño tartar sauce and serve.