4.86 from 7 votes

Fried Hush Puppies

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Golden brown, crispy on the outside, and soft and tender on the inside, hush puppies are the perfect southern side dish. And making hush puppies is easier than you think. These mini-fried balls of cornmeal dough can seriously make a fish dinner even more special. 

Lightly sweetened with the tiniest bit of sugar but totally savory and dense, if you have never had a hush puppy dipped in malt vinegar or slathered with honey butter, this recipe is just for you.

pile of hush puppies on a white plate with one split open showing a center.

Why this recipe works

Savory and Sweet: There is sugar in these, so they have a little sweetness to them.

The perfect Southern side dish: Golden brown and with the perfect amount of crispy crunch, these mix-and-go hush puppies are delightfully easy to prepare and can feed an entire crowd. Often served alongside a catfish fry, hush puppies are a must-have at any classic southern meal.

Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil for frying hush puppies
  • cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • white sugar
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • minced white onion
  • green onions
  • buttermilk
  • vegetable oil
  • egg

Expert Hush Puppy Tips

Let’s talk about timing: Time is minimal to mix up, maybe 10 minutes by the time you cut the onions. Cooking is done often in batches, so that can take a little more time. One batch for me was about 5 hush puppies and I cooked them for 5-7 minutes each batch.

Dipping sauces: Growing up, the fast-food restaurants I visited with fish always served hush puppies with malt vinegar. A side of melted honey butter, regular butter, or even an aioli is a great fit depending on what they are being served with. Slather on the outside, cut and put in the middle (like a roll), or simply dip in a favorite sauce. 

Dietary Changes: You can make these gluten free by altering the flour to a Gluten Free option like King Arthur’s Gluten Free. 

SERVE ALONGSIDE: Air Fryer Salmon

How to make Deep Fried Hush Puppies

Make sure to check out the printable recipe card for full step-by-step instructions and ingredients.

hush puppies collage with all ingredients being added into a bowl and ultimately fried.

Pre-mixing: To prep for the hush puppy batter, heat at least 2″ of vegetable oil until hot. Be careful not to overheat your oil or it will instantly burn your batter. I do a medium-low to start and adjust as needed.

Step 1: In a mixing bowl, add cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Mix all ingredients well with a whisk or spoon.

Steps 2-3: Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and add buttermilk, oil, and egg and mix well.

Step 4: Stir in onions.

Step 5: Spray down a 2 tablespoon portion scoop with non-stick cooking spray.

Step 6: Drop dough into hot oil and fry for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. The batter will not be perfectly round and may spread a little when dropped into the oil. 

FAQ’s

What are Hush Puppies?


Fried Cornmeal batter, made up of cornmeal, seasoning, and flour. 

What is the best oil for deep fried hush puppies?


As with all fried food, choose an oil that has a high heat tolerance and doesn’t affect the taste. I recommend canola or vegetable oil. 

How do I keep hush puppies from falling apart in the oil?


The first step is to make sure the oil is properly heated prior to adding in the batter. If you add batter to colder oil, the hush puppy may fall apart. Additionally, expect the batter to spread just a bit when first dropped into the oil. The batter may not be perfectly round but it’s fine to use tongs to press it back and reshape in the oil. 

 How to keep hush puppies warm while preparing to serve:


Bread should always be the last thing that comes out of the frying pan or oven, but in the case of prepping, what I do is place a hand towel inside a bread basket or deep bowl, add in hush puppies and fold the top of the hand towel over the cornmeal. This traps the heat inside. 

What is the best way to drain a hushpuppy?


Typically you will make in batches, so use tongs to carefully place the finished fried dough on a paper towel to drain. 

How long will these last?


I know many bloggers say that they will last 3 days, but the truth is fried food doesn’t do well after the first day. I would rather you made new ones than try to keep them. Nonetheless, you can try to wrap in a slightly damp paper towel and microwave some softness and freshness back in them for about 30 seconds until hot again. 

bitten hush puppies with soft center and a bit of green onion showing.
4.86 from 7 votes

Fried Hush Puppies


Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
From scratch golden fried hush puppies, made with cornmeal and flour for a crispy brown outer shell and soft tender center, are a typical Southern side dish with roots in the Civil War. Often found at a fish fry, deep fried hush puppies are a common side dish for fish sticks and fish fillets and meet the needs for strongly seasoned Southern food loaded up with carbs. And making the best hush puppies is easier than you think! Combine the batter and fry up, batch by batch. Only simple ingredients needed, super filling and goes great with honey butter or the traditional way – malt vinegar. 

Ingredients
 

  • Vegetable oil for frying hush puppies
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup minced white onion
  • 2 large green onions diced
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  • Heat at least 2" of vegetable oil until hot. Be careful not to over heat your oil or it will instantly burn your batter. I do a medium low to start and adjust as needed.
  • In a mixing bowl, add cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  • Mix well.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and add buttermilk, oil and egg and mix batter well.
  • Stir in both kinds of onions.
  • Spray down a 2 tablespoon portion scoop with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Scoop and then drop dough into hot oil and fry for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown.
  • The batter may spread a bit when you drop it so I reshape with tongs as its cooking. Simply use your finger to dole out the batter from the scoop into the hot oil.
  • Turn hush puppies frequently to evenly cook on all sides.
  • When finished cooking, place hush puppies on paper towel for oil to drain and serve warm.

Video

Notes

  • You can make larger hush puppies but you may need to adjust the cooking time. Because the outside crisps quicker but the inside will need to be cooked longer, you may have to turn oil heat down to allow longer cooking without burning.
  • You can substitute the buttermilk for whole cream, but cut in half to 1/4th whole cream and add a little at a time till batter is mixed. I find that whole cream can be a bit more watery so its easy to make the batter too loose.
  • Any time you are frying something, getting the oil temperature right is important. While its tempting to turn the oil up super hot, start with a medium low where its frying but not burning and adjust as you do a few and see the temp.

Where did the term “hush puppies” come from?

Like many old fashioned and retro recipes, hush puppies roots are not overly well known. Many say they started in the deep south, after the Civil War and became part of fish fries. The dogs around the camp were often told “hush puppy” and given a treat of cornbread. Do dogs eat cornbread and does it make them actually hush? Who knows if the legend is true!
What are Hush Puppies?
Fried Cornmeal batter, made up of cornmeal, seasoning and flour. 
What is the best oil for hush puppies?
As with all fried food, choose an oil that has a high heat tolerance and doesn’t affect the taste. I recommend canola or vegetable oil. 
How do I keep hush puppies from falling apart in the oil?
The first step is to make sure the oil is properly heated prior to adding in the batter. If you add batter to colder oil, the hush puppy may fall part. Additionally expect batter to spread just a bit when first dropped into the oil. The batter may not be perfectly round but its fine to use tongs to press it back and reshape in the oil. 
 How to keep hush puppies warm while preparing to serve:
Bread should always be the last thing that comes out of the frying pan or oven, but in the case of prepping, what I do is place a hand towel inside a bread basket or deep bowl, add in hush puppies and fold the top of the hand towel over the cornmeal. This traps the heat inside. 
What is the best way to drain a hushpuppy?
Typically you will make in batches, so use tongs to carefully place the finished fried dough on a paper towel to drain. 
How long will these last?
I know many bloggers say that they will last 3 days, but the truth is fried food doesn’t do well after the first day. I would rather you made new ones than tried to keep them. Nonetheless, you can try to wrap in a slightly damp paper towel and microwave some softness and freshness back in them for about 30 seconds until hot again. 

Nutrition

Serving: 12people | Calories: 95kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 111mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g

Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.

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4.86 from 7 votes

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6 Comments

  1. Jeraldine says:

    I’m going to try this Friday, it’s the exact to my Mother’s, except the buttermilk, I don’ t know if she used, though we had it in the fridge.
    Thank you for this RECIPE, I already know it to be perfect!!

    1. Hi Jeraldine, your mom sounds like an amazing cook! Let me know if you like the recipe this way or I should try Hush Puppies her way!

  2. Connie Knorr says:

    Can you make this in an air fryer?

    1. hi Connie, I actually JUST got an Air Fryer for Christmas. So I do not know the answer yet, but will test it out in the near future and update!

  3. Tried these tonight. They were so good!!

    1. Thank you for your feedback on the hush puppies! So glad you enjoyed!

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