How To Make Southern Hush Puppies

fried hush puppies
Tasty little deep-fried hush puppies are traditionally served with fried catfish. Diana Rattray

Hush puppies are traditionally served with fried catfish. They're small balls of fried dough, and similar to fritters. This is a simple version, but feel free to add grated onion or chopped green onions or some onion powder for extra flavor. Cooked corn kernels may be added as well. 

See the note below the recipe if you plan to use self-rising cornmeal and flour.


  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons grated onion or minced green onions, optional
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • freshly ground black pepper, optional
  • dash cayenne pepper or hot pepper sauce, optional


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of cornmeal with 1/2 cup of flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, and 1 teaspoon of baking soda.
  2. In another bowl, whisk the egg with the buttermilk.
  3. Blend the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients. The dough should be thick enough to drop from a spoon slowly but easily.
  4. Add any of the following: 2 or 3 tablespoons of grated onion or minced green onion, black or cayenne pepper, or hot pepper sauce.
  5. In a deep, heavy skillet or deep fryer, heat fat for deep frying. The fat should be about 3 inches deep, or deep enough for the hush puppies to float, and the temperature should be around 370 F.
  1. Drop the batter by teaspoonfuls into the hot fat and fry until golden brown.
  2. Remove the hush puppies to paper towels to drain and keep warm while frying the rest.

This recipe should make about 24 hush puppies.

Expert Tips

  • If using self-rising cornmeal and flour, omit the baking powder and salt.
  • Heat an oven to 200 F if you need to keep the hush puppies warm as you make subsequent batches. Move drained hush puppies to a rack in a baking pan and put them in the preheated oven until serving time (up to 20 minutes).

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