How to Cook Smoked River Cobbler


Smoked river cobbler is a freshwater fish of the catfish genus indigenous to Southeast Asia. Similar to catfish, river cobbler works well with several cooking methods, including frying and roasting. It also lends itself capably to roulades, a classic French preparation that entails rolling the fish around a filling. As a mild-tasting fish, the smoky river cobbler successfully accompanies a broad range of flavors, such as sour and sweet or piquant and spicy.


  • Create a filling for the roulade. Fillings that work well with smoked river cobbler include chopped dill, sautéed vegetables, butter and lemon zest, or Roma tomatoes, fresh parsley, roasted garlic, shallots and extra virgin olive oil.

  • Place the smoked river cobbler filet on a cutting board. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place the filling down the length of the filet, leaving about a half-inch space on each side.

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll the filet around the filling and secure with a wooden skewer. Place the roulades in an oiled baking dish and place in the oven. Bake the river cobbler for approximately 20 minutes or until the fish has a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.


  • Create a seasoned breading for the smoked river cobbler. Similar to that which woul be used with other freshwater fish, a breading mixture of all-purpose flour (or yellow cornmeal), cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper works well with river cobbler. Place the breading mixture on a plate in an even layer.

  • Rinse the filets, pat dry with paper towels and place in a shallow baking dish of buttermilk. Add four tbsp. olive oil to a deep skillet and place over medium-high heat.

  • Remove the filets one at a time from the buttermilk and dredge both sides in the seasoned flour. Place them on a sheet pan to dry for five minutes.

  • Gently place the filets in the skillet and fry for six to seven minutes on each side or until golden brown. Do not overcrowd the skillet – it lowers the overall temperature of the oil too rapidly, causes the fish to cook slower and creates steam, which results in a mushy final product.


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, rinse the smoked river cobbler with cool water and dry with paper towels.

  • Coat the filets with olive oil and season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  • Place the filets in the oven and cook for 20 minutes or until they reach a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

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