Catfish are common in the bayou, so all sorts of interesting and reasonable fish dishes are part of Louisiana cuisine. This hearty fish stew “jumps” thanks to some spicy red pepper.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 10.5-ounce cans vegetable broth
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 pound catfish fillets
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 cups hot cooked white rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the onion, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and tomato paste, stir until well blended, and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the catfish to the skillet and reduce the heat to medium. Add the lemon juice and at least a few red pepper flakes (use the full teaspoon if you like things spicy). Cover and simmer until the catfish flakes with a fork, 10 minutes or more depending on thickness.
  3. Put the hot rice on a platter. With a spatula, remove the fish from the skillet and put it on top of the rice. Raise the heat under the skillet to medium-high and bring the remaining liquid to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan and stirring until the sauce is well blended. Ladle the sauce over the fish and rice and garnish with the parsley.