Mama’s Cajun Style Courtbouillon


As fishermen, our freezer was always stocked with redfish and catfish. My mother, Meredith would make this Cajun dish that we enjoyed as children. I now make it for my children; it is one of the favorite meals. The Cajun version of courtbouillon is generally flavored differently than some because of the roux used to make this dish.


  • 4 pounds catfish, redfish or any firm fish
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 medium bell pepper chopped
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 3/4 cup oil (canola or vegetable oil)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 quarts water
  • salt, black pepper and cayenne to taste
  • 1 tsp basil optional
  • 1/2 tsp Louisiana Hot sauce or Tabasco
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1/2 cup green onions chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley chopped fine
  • 1 small lemon cut into wedges optional


Step 1

Cut the fish into 2 inch pieces. You do not want to cut too small as it may fall apart in your dish. Season fish with salt, black pepper and cayenne. Set aside. First you make a roux in a heavy aluminum pot or cast iron pot. (The recipe can be found on this site)

Step 2

After your roux is done add the onion, bell pepper, and celery; sauté with roux stirring continually until vegetables are wilted.

Step 3

Add the tomato paste and garlic and blend. Add the water gradually; stirring as you add. Add the rest of the seasonings. Bring to a boil, turn heat down and simmer uncovered on low for 40 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Some cooks add the lemon wedges at this point.

Step 4

Add the fish and cook until done about 20 to 30 minutes. Add the green onion and parsley in the last 10 minutes of cooking. Serve over rice with French bread for soaking up the gravy and enjoy. C’est sa bon!

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Ossun, Louisiana Louisiana
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