A deliciously flavorful side dish or appetizer, these Homemade Hush Puppies are a southern favorite that are a must make!
A TASTY SOUTHERN STAPLE
If you have never tried Homemade Hush Puppies, now is the time. They are not hard to make from scratch, and trust me, you’ll love this recipe! Once you make these, everyone will be asking you to bring them to the next seafood boil or barbecue! Deep fried to perfection, you get a crisp and fluffy texture in each and every single bite! This hush puppy recipe is a guaranteed winner!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Hush Puppies are small deep fried balls made from a cornmeal based batter that are served alone or with seafood or other dishes.
Hushpuppies are delicious all on their own! But if you insist on a dip, you could slather them with butter. You could also use jam, cream gravy, spicy mayonnaise or even honey mustard.
Well, the answer is about as clear as mud. Researchers are fairly confident they originated in the south and we know the word itself goes way back to England where the term refers to silencing someone or covering something up. So it’s thought that perhaps these were given the name hushpuppies because they were quick to quiet rumbling tummies. Like many great southern recipes, we almost always have enslaved Africans and/or Native Americans to thank. We do know for certain that Native Americans brought us corn and cornmeal.
I enjoy digging into food history and I saw a meme going around on social media that said escaping slaves would throw down fried cornmeal balls to keep dogs off their tracks and therefore would “hush the puppies”. The meme says to check with the Smithsonian African American museum for more information. However, I could find nothing about this story on their website so I emailed in the off chance someone might help and a researcher replied! The researcher unfortunately confirmed it is more than likely a myth that makes for a good story but they’ve never been able to confirm it through any oral or written history. The African American Museum is not responsible for that meme and are not a valid reference. Sadly, these tales make for fascinating stories that make for viral memes but often hide the true story and credit from the people who deserve it…like a former slave.
Many southern fishermen spoke (and wrote) of a formerly enslaved man named Romeo Govan who would make fried cornmeal balls (originally called “red horse bread”) and cooked them with his fried fish (the name of the fish species was called Red Horse) in his popular fish house in South Carolina.
For a deep dive into the story of hush puppies, please check out this in-depth article from Serious Eats where they debunk some myths about this famed southern bread and dig deeper into the history.
No. I love buttermilk for this recipe but you can also use whole milk. Or you can make your own buttermilk. To do this for this recipe add your 3/4 cup milk to a measuring cup and then add 3/4 Tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice and stir. Let this mixture sit for about 5-10 minutes and then stir again and use in your recipe.
They are light and fluffy on the inside with a nice crispy outer coating.
No. However, you can use gluten free cornmeal and flour to make them.
These can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. These can also be frozen. Place hush puppies in a freezer container and they will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let defrost in the refrigerator, reheat in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 8 minutes.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (FULL RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)
- yellow cornmeal
- all-purpose flour
- granulated sugar
- kosher salt
- baking powder
- baking soda
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- cayenne pepper
- buttermilk or whole milk
- grated onion
- unsalted butter,
- peanut oil for frying
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE HUSH PUPPIES:
In a dutch oven or heavy bottom skillet with deep sides, add peanut oil or oil you are using about 3-4 inches up the side of the pan. Bring the oil up to temperature over medium heat to 350°F. While the oil is heating up, make the batter. Add the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne to a large bowl, stir to combine.
In a separate medium-sized bowl whisk together the buttermilk, egg, and grated onion.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry.
Stir them in so there are no dry patches. Add the butter and stir it in until combined.
Once the oil is to temp, add just under 1 tablespoon-sized dollops into the hot oil, be very careful at this step.
Cook for 1-2 minutes per side until golden brown on the outside. Don’t let your oil get too hot or your hush puppies will be done on the outside but still raw in the middle. Place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain while you fry the remaining hush puppies.
Serve with softened butter on the side for dipping, optional.
CRAVING MORE RECIPES?
Homemade Hush Puppies
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- pinch cayenne (optional)
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup grated onion (optional)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- In a dutch oven or heavy bottom skillet with deep sides, add peanut oil or oil you are using about 3-4 inches up the side of the pan. Bring the oil up to temperature over medium heat to 350°F.
- While the oil is heating up, make the batter. Add the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne to a large bowl, stir to combine.
- In a separate medium-sized bowl whisk together the buttermilk, egg, and grated onion.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir them in so there are no dry patches.
- Add the butter and stir it in until combined.
- Once the oil is to temp, add just under 1 tablespoon-sized dollops into the hot oil, be very careful at this step. Cook for 1-2 minutes per side until golden brown on the outside.
- Place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain while you fry the remaining hush puppies.
- Serve with softened butter on the side for dipping, optional.
- Easily double this batch to have more on hand for a larger crowd.
- These can be frozen, see my tips above.
- This is a basic recipe see above for some additions you can add to these. Some people like a sweeter hush puppy so feel free to add additional sugar.
- Make sure your oil doesn’t get too hot or these will get dark quickly on the outside but will still be raw inside.
“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.