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Pine Nut Catfish

Native Americans of the Southwest United States first harvested pine nuts for use in their recipes. In the Great Basin area, where pine nuts are a staple food, the right of Native Americans to collect pine nuts is protected by law. Native Americans who traditionally use pine nuts include Paiute, Navajo, Pueblo, and Hopi, among others. This recipe for catfish prepared with pine nuts comes from the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska.

Recipe Servings: 4

Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Total Time
25 minutes
Gluten Free
Dairy Free



  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Spread the pine nuts on a baking sheet and toast about 5 minutes, until golden-brown. Let cool to room temperature.
  3. Grind ¼ cup of the pine nuts, reserving the remainder for garnish.
  4. In a shallow dish, combine the ground pine nuts, cornmeal, flour, salt, cayenne pepper, and cumin. Dredge the fillets through the mixture.
  5. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.
  6. Cook the fillets two at a time, for about 8 minutes, flipping halfway through. The fish should flake easily when tested with a fork.
  7. Serve sprinkled with reserved pine nuts.

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