Catfish Saltimbocca: The Best Greek-Style Catfish Recipe

This fun recipe is truly bursting with flavor. The pairing of the crisp sage leaves, salty prosciutto, white wine, roasted garlic, salt, and pepper creates a dance of flavors in the mouth. I guarantee that you will love this recipe.

My recipe is going to southernize Saltimbocca by the use of catfish as the star of the show. Catfish Saltimbocca is my twist on a classic Roman Italian dish traditionally prepared with veal. Saltimbocca Alla Romano (Roman style). Chefs Americanized the recipe at some point, and chicken, a less expensive and readily found protein, was most often used and known as Polo Saltimbocca.


The most challenging part of preparing the dish is remembering and pronouncing the name, Saltimbocca.   The name means “to jump in the mouth.”

With his student Aron Floate, John Woods will take you through the recipe step-by-step.



Degree of Difficulty: Moderate


Equipment Needed:

  • Large ovenproof heavy skillet or sauterne pan

Pan or plate for dredging catfish fillets, Toothpicks for attaching sage leaves.

  • I prefer round toothpicks.
  • Slotted metal spatula
  • Large baking dish or deep lipped sheet pan if using the baking method. An ovenproof skillet is a good option, depending on how many fillets you cook.
  • Cutting board and knife for dicing shallot and chopping parsley
  • Measuring cups

The ingredients:

  • 4 catfish fillets (I prefer 3-5 ounce fillets)
  • Prosciutto, one slice per fillet
  • 3-4 sage leaves per filler. Do not make substitutes with dry sage or any other ingredient.
  • White All-Purpose flour, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper (Do not use iodized salt)
  • Vegetable, Canola, Grapeseed, Avocado, or some other high smoke point oil
  • 4 whole garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup of white wine. Marsala can be substituted
  • 1 cup chicken broth or stock
  • Half stick unsalted butter (not margarine)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cornstarch slurry (optional if needed for thickening at the end

Optional Ingredients (highly suggested)

  • Finely diced shallots
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • The juice of one lemon

Instructions for the Stove-tip Method

  • Rinse catfish fillets and pat dry with a paper towel
  • Lightly salt and pepper on the presentation side of the fish (rounded side.
  • Dredge the fillets thoroughly, coating both sides
  • Attach the sage leaves to the fillets by pinning them with the toothpicks
  • Heat skillet before adding oil. Add oil and wait a minute or two until it is hot.
  • Place garlic cloves in the hot skillet and allow them to lightly brown for about one minute while occasionally stirring.
  • Gently add the dredged catfish fillets, presentation side down. This is a crucial step. Take care not to overcrowd the pan. Cook in batches if necessary

Pan fry until the presentation side of the fillet is crisp and golden brown.

  • Gently turn the fillet over and brown the opposite side.
  • Remove the fillets from the skillet and set them aside while deglazing the pan with the wine, chicken stock, and lemon juice. Add the shallots and parsley and let reduce on a gentle heat for two minutes.
  • Add the fillets back to the skillet and simmer for approximately five minutes until flaky in the middle.
  • Remove the fillets and set them aside. Take 3 tablespoons of cold butter and cut into pats. One at a time, gently whisks the butter into the reduced sauce. This process should thicken the sauce.
  • Place fillets on a serving plate and coat partially with the sauce

Instructions using the Stove Top and Oven Combination

  • After deglazing the pan p[er the above instructions, place the fillets back in the skillet and finish in a preheated 375-degree oven for approximately 10 minutes
  • Place fillets on a serving plate and coat partially with the sauce