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Hush Puppies – Once Upon a Chef

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Crispy golden hush puppies make a delicious side dish to seafood or Southern BBQ.

Hush puppies, the crispy, bite-sized fritters made from a cornmeal-based batter, originated in the South and are typically served with seafood or BBQ. There are many unproven theories as to how they got their adorable name, but my favorite story is that back in the day, hunters and fishermen would fry cornmeal batter for their howling dogs to “hush the puppies” during cookouts and fish-fries.

Hush puppies can be quite dense, but I prefer them light and crispy. It’s important to use the right ratio of cornmeal to flour, as too much cornmeal can make the hush puppies gritty and heavy. I add buttermilk for a little tang, a hint of Cajun spice, and baking soda to help the crust brown and crisp up (in addition to leavening, baking soda helps with browning). I also incorporate melted butter into the batter, which makes the hush puppies moist and rich. The batter will be quite thin when first mixed, so be sure to allow it to rest and thicken up for 10 minutes before frying. When making hush puppies, it’s very helpful to have a Dutch oven, deep-fry/candy thermometer and 1 tablespoon scooper.

What You’ll Need To Make Hush Puppies

hush puppies ingredients

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Cajun spice
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • ¼ cup grated yellow onion, from 1 small onion
  • About 2 quarts peanut or vegetable oil, for frying

Step-by-Step Instructions

In a large bowl, add the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, Cajun spice, and cayenne pepper.

flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in bowl

Whisk until combined.

whisked dry ingredients in mixing bowl

Add the buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, and onion.

adding buttermilk, grated onion, eggs, and melted butter

Whisk until evenly combined. Let the batter rest for about 10 minutes to thicken.

hush puppies batter

Heat about 2 inches of oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat to 350°F. (It’s very helpful to attach a deep-fry/candy thermometer to the pot to monitor the temperature throughout the cooking process, but if you don’t have one, if a cube of bread sizzles when you drop it in the oil, it’s the right temperature.)

Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set next to the stove.

When the oil is ready, drop heaping tablespoons of batter into the oil, without crowding.

frying hush puppies

Fry until deep golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes, turning halfway through cooking.

golden brown hush puppies in dutch oven

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the hush puppies to the paper towel-lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining batter. If the hush puppies are browning too quickly, lower the heat; it’s important that the oil maintains a temperature of around 350°F for even cooking.

hush puppies on paper towels

Serve warm. (Leftover hush puppies can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 2 days, or frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat in 350-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes.)

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Hush Puppies

Crispy golden hush puppies make a delicious side dish to seafood or Southern BBQ.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Cajun spice
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • ¼ cup grated yellow onion, from 1 small onion
  • About 2 quarts peanut or vegetable oil, for frying

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, Cajun spice, and cayenne pepper. Add the buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, and onion and whisk until evenly combined. Let the batter rest for about 10 minutes to thicken.
  2. Heat about 2 inches of oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat to 350°F. (It’s very helpful to attach a deep-fry/candy thermometer to the pot to monitor the temperature throughout the cooking process, but if you don’t have one, if a cube of bread sizzles when you drop it in the oil, it’s the right temperature.) Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set next to the stove.
  3. When the oil is ready, drop heaping tablespoons of batter into the oil, without crowding, and fry until deep golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes, turning halfway through cooking. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the hush puppies to the paper towel-lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining batter. If the hush puppies are browning too quickly, lower the heat; it’s important that the oil maintains a temperature of around 350°F for even cooking. Serve warm. (Leftover hush puppies can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 2 days, or frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat in 350-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes.)
  4. Note: If you’d like to make your own buttermilk, check out the easy method here. (Keep in mind that homemade buttermilk is not as thick as real buttermilk, so I’d suggest using just ⅔ cup to start and adding the remaining 2 tablespoons only if the batter seems too stiff.)

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (15 servings)
  • Serving size: 2 hush puppies
  • Calories: 141
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Saturated fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 15 g
  • Sugar: 2 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Sodium: 114 mg
  • Cholesterol: 33 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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