Deep-Fried Southern Hush Puppies

Deep fried Southern hush puppies recipe

The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yields: 18 pieces
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
305 Calories
10g Fat
46g Carbs
9g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 305
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 47mg 16%
Sodium 307mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 46g 17%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Protein 9g
Calcium 149mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A Southern specialty, hush puppies are small, deep-fried balls made of a cornmeal batter. They are a humble side dish often served with fried foods like catfish and other seafood. The salty and light sweet balls of crispy fried goodness pair perfectly with tender, flaky fried fish and can be cooked up in the same hot oil. First recorded in 1899, the inventor of the "hush puppy" is unclear, but it may come from an interesting solution for barking dogs. Home cooks would toss out a basic fried cornmeal mixture to loud pups to hush them up.

This hush puppy recipe calls for self-rising cornmeal mix and flour, milk, egg, and finely chopped green onion for added flavor and color. There are plenty of opportunities for additional flavor, like adding corn, diced pepper, or herbs. If you don't have self-rising cornmeal mix or self-rising flour, it is simple to make both using pantry staples.

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Ingredients

  • 1 quart vegetable oil (for deep frying)
  • 2 cups self-rising cornmeal mix
  • 3 tablespoons self-rising flour
  • 2 tablespoons green onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg (beaten)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Southern fried hush puppies
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  2. In a deep fryer or heavy, deep skillet, heat 2 to 3 inches of oil to 370 F.

    Heat oil
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the self-rising cornmeal mix, self-rising flour, and onion. Add milk and egg and mix well.

    Combine cornmeal and flour
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  4. Let the batter stand at room temperature for 5 minutes.

    Let rise in bowl
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  5. Drop the batter by tablespoons into the hot oil, careful not to overcrowd the pan.

    Drop hush puppies
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  6. Fry the hush puppies in small batches until deep golden brown, turning several times to brown evenly. It'll take around 3 batches at 3 to 4 minutes each.

    Fried hush puppies
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  7. Drain on paper towels and enjoy.

    Hush puppies
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

Tips

  • Use an oil that has a high smoke point and is good for deep frying. Good options include canola oil, avocado oil, and corn oil, while low smoke point oils like extra-virgin and virgin olive oil are bad options.
  • Heat the oven to 200 F before you begin the recipe. Place a rack over a baking sheet, put the fried and drained hush puppies on the rack, and place them in the preheated oven to keep warm while making more batches.
  • For softer hush puppies, use 1 3/4 cups of self-rising cornmeal mix and 1/2 cup of self-rising flour.
  • A deep-fry thermometer is key in making sure your oil is at the right temperature. If it is too hot, the outside of the hush puppies will overcook, while the inside doesn't cook enough. If too low, the hush puppies will absorb too much oil and will be greasy.
  • If you don't have a thermometer, you can use a wooden spoon. Place the end of the handle in the oil—if bubbles form around the wood, the oil is ready. If it is bubbling vigorously, the oil is too hot; if there aren't any bubbles, the oil needs to heat up some more.

Recipe Variations

  • Add about 1/2 cup to 1 cup of fresh or frozen corn kernels to the batter.
  • Spice things up with a tablespoon of finely diced jalapeno pepper.
  • Replace the green onion with 1 tablespoon of grated onion or 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh chives.
  • Sweeten the hush puppies a bit with a few tablespoons of granulated sugar.

What's the difference between corn fritters and hush puppies?

While both corn fritters and hush puppies are deliciously crispy fried treats, corn fritters require a key ingredient: corn. Whether fresh or frozen, corn is the main ingredient in fritters, while cornmeal is the star of hush puppy recipes.