A. D.’s Fried Salt Suckers

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Cold-Smoking & Salt-Curing Meat, Fish, & Game

Cold-Smoking & Salt-Curing Meat, Fish, & Game

By A D Livingston

Published 2010

  • About

This technique works for most bony fish, but suckers are my favorite in spite of the bad press they have received over the years. These are salted by the method given in the first part of this chapter. Before salting, however, the suckers are filleted. Each fillet is “gashed” with a sharp knife on a diagonal, placing the cuts about ½ inch apart. Do not cut all the way through the fish but do cut through the layer of Y-bones. With a little practice, you can feel the bones as you cut.


  • salt suckers or other bony fish
  • peanut oil
  • white cornmeal, finely stone-ground
  • buttermilk
  • pepper


    Soak the salt fish in cool water all day or overnight, changing several times. Scale the fish and soak them in buttermilk for 4 hours. Drain the fish, sprinkle each piece lightly with pepper, and shake them in a bag with cornmeal. Heat at least ½ inch of peanut oil in a frying pan. (Or rig for deep-frying if you prefer.) The oil should be very hot, but not smoking. Fry the fish for a few minutes, until they are nicely brown on each side. Drain each piece well on brown grocery bags or other absorbent paper. Eat while hot.