Here are the best ways to make catfish — plus more on its importance to soul food culture. Catfish: How to Cook It and Why It's Important to Soul Food CultureHow to Buy CatfishFresh catfish should not smell fishy. Mix together the seasoned pepper, garlic powder, and seasoned salt in a small bowl. Here's a traditional Southern fried catfish recipe. Great if you don't care for that sometimes overpowering catfish taste.