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
Yield: 18 pieces
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
394 Calories
27g Fat
34g Carbs
6g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 394
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 35%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 33mg 11%
Sodium 584mg 25%
Total Carbohydrate 34g 12%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 217mg 17%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 187mg 4%
*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 lightly sweet balls of crispy fried goodness pair perfectly with tender, flaky fried fish and can be cooked in the same hot oil. First recorded in 1899, the origin 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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"This recipe is fun and quick! It’s simple to make your own self-rising cornmeal mix with pantry staples. The batter was easy to make and to fry, but keep an eye on the hush puppies and flip them often. The softer variation of this recipe would be interesting to try, too." —Colleen Graham

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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 finely chopped green onion

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1 large 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.

    Heating 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.

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

    Dropping hush puppies balls into oil
    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 2 to 3 minutes each.

    Frying hush puppies
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii
  7. Drain on paper towels. Serve and enjoy!

    Hush puppies draining on paper towels
    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

Tips

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 may break apart and can absorb too much oil, making them 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.
  • For bite-sized pieces, use a small dinner spoon (not heaping). For round hushpuppies, use a small cookie dough scoop.

Recipe Variations

  • For softer hush puppies, use 1 3/4 cups of self-rising cornmeal mix and 1/2 cup of self-rising flour.
  • Add about 1/2 cup to 1 cup of fresh or frozen corn kernels to the batter.
  • Spice things up with 1 tablespoon of finely diced jalapeño 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.

How to Store Hush Puppies

Store any leftover hush puppies in an airtight container with paper towels between layers. Refrigerate for up to three days. Reheat in a 400 F oven for 4 to 6 minutes, until crispy.


To freeze them, let the hush puppies cool completely, then place them evenly spaced in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze for one to two hours, until solid, then transfer to a freezer bag or container and use within three months. To reheat, place on a baking sheet and bake in a 400 F oven for 7 to 10 minutes if completely frozen or 4 to 6 minutes if partially defrosted.

What Dipping Sauce Is Good With Hush Puppies?

Fans of hush puppies have their favorite dipping sauces. It can be as simple as tartar sauce or ranch dressing, or you can mix up something special. Spicy, creamy sauces are common and rémoulade sauce is a popular Southern choice. You can also make a spicy chili mayonnaise, go mild with mustard-mayonnaise sauce, or take a sweet approach with a honey-mustard combination. Whenever you make hush puppies, try a couple of new sauces to discover which you like best.

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.