Middendorf’s Catfish Laing

Adapted by StarChefs.com
March 2022
Yield: 4 servings


1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 shallot, sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
One 1-inch piece of ginger, sliced
1 red Thai chile
1 tablespoon fermented Fresno hot sauce (or any hot sauce)
1 can coconut milk
1 cup cooked spinach, squeezed
1 pound Maryland blue catfish, cut into ¼-inch strips
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup milk
Canola oil for frying
To Assemble and Serve:
1 cup pea leaves
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon kimchi, chopped
2 tablespoons pork floss
1 teaspoon gochugaru


For the Laing

In a saucepan over medium flame, heat coconut oil. Add shallot, garlic, and ginger and sauté until soft. Add chile, hot sauce, and coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer to a Vitamix blender, add spinach then blend on high until smooth. Keep warm.

For the Catfish

Toss catfish with salt and sugar. Let cure 20 minutes. In a separate bowl, mix to combine cornmeal and cornstarch. Dip catfish into milk then dip into cornmeal dredge until completely coated. In a large frying pan, heat oil to 350°F. Shallow-fry catfish pieces for 2 minutes on each side. Remove catfish from oil and let drain on paper towels. 

To Assemble and Serve

In a small bowl, toss pea leaves with olive oil. Grill pea leaves until charred and tender. Set aside. Place a generous spoonful of Laing on the bottom of a serving dish. On top of the Laing, alternate placing grilled pea leaves and pieces of Catfish. Top with kimchi and sprinkle with pork floss and gochugaru.