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Catfish has little or no connective tissue, therefore it does not have to be cooked long for it to be tender. Catfish may be baked, broiled, steamed, poached, or prepared in a number of other creative ways. The key to cooking catfish is to preserve the delicate flavor of this fish. Catfish has a short cooking time and if cooked too long, it will dry out, shrink and lose its flavor. Catfish is done when it flakes easily with a fork.
Probably the most distinctive trait of catfish, with its absence of fishy odor or taste, is its versatility. It can be used in any recipe calling for a white flesh fish and is often used as a substitute for chicken.

What makes a fish a catfish? Well, first of all, it must have whiskers, or correctly, barbels. After all, that’s where the catfish got its name.

Catfish also have sharp spines in their pectoral and dorsal fins. Unlike barbels, these can inflict painful wounds.

All catfish lack scales. There are those with smooth, naked skins (like our native cats), others with rows of spiny plates and even a few completely armored with overlapping shields. But no scales. They also possess a fleshy adipose fin on the rear of their back, like trout and salmon.