These perfect Southern Hush Puppies taste like little morsels of fried cornbread. Tender and fried until golden brown, they are perfect served along with your fish fry and meals all year round! Definitely serve these with my Homemade Corn Dogs, Fried Catfish, and Fried Shrimp recipes!
If there’s one thing that has stood true through my childhood and into my adulthood, it’s this: I love a good ole’ fish fry.
I grew up spending Summer’s in Mississippi where we held an annual family reunion. I can still recall feeling the Summer heat while I watched the grown-ups fry up catfish to the tune of classic soul music.
Joyous family and food-filled moments like those are the ones I remember the most about my childhood. Such a blast! Even today, as I continue the tradition of a family fish fry, I never forget to include these tasty fried cornbread bites!
What are Hush Puppies?
A hush puppy is to fried fish what peanut butter is to jelly. Seriously!
A hush puppy is a small, savory, deep-fried round ball made from a cornmeal-based batter. There are many variations of the recipe and some may include scallions, garlic, whole-kernel corn, or peppers.
The texture of a hush puppy is crisp on the outside with a moist, tender middle. I would compare the flavor to that of buttery, salty cornbread that’s fried until crispy. It’s almost too good to be true!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- It’s basically fried cornmeal dough! What’s not to love?
- The perfect combination of crispy outside and tender inside!
- A nice change to cornbread for your favorite dishes.
- A classic southern side dish for a fish fry and more!
The ingredient list for this recipe for hush puppies is very similar to cornbread. Most are simple and you may already have them in the kitchen. Here’s what you need:
- White corn meal: I prefer using white corn meal in this recipe but really it tastes the same as yellow so that’s an option if you have it.
- All-purpose flour: The flour is necessary because it contains gluten which will help hold the cornmeal batter together.
- Baking powder: The best leavener for this recipe.
- Seasoning: You’re going to need a little salt and some granulated sugar. There’s not enough sugar in this recipe to make them super sweet but it helps to balance out all the other flavors and helps them turn out golden brown when fried.
- Egg: Adds moisture and structure!
- Onion: You’re going to want to dice it up small so you don’t large chunks of onion in the final product. It’s the main ingredient for the signature flavor in a hush puppy and what makes them so different from traditional cornbread recipes.
- Milk: Moistens the batter and adds some flavor.
How to Make Hush Puppies
Wanna know how to whip up a batch of hush puppies like a pro? Well, I’ve got the insider tips that make for the most flavorful, well-cooked puppies around!
- Add the cornmeal, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and granulated sugar to a medium bowl and whisk together to combine.
- Add the egg, onion, and milk to the bowl and whisk until the batter is thick and well combined.
PRO TIP: Set the batter aside for ten minutes before cooking! You can start heating your oil while the batter rests.
- When the oil is hot, drop in tablespoons of batter and fry until golden brown on all sides. Remove them once they are golden brown and drain them on paper towels. Continue cooking until all the batter is used. Serve them up while they’re still warm.
How to Store
Homemade hush puppies are best eaten hot or at least warm soon after cooking. However, if you have leftovers you can store them at room temperature for three days or in the fridge for up to five days. They can also be frozen for up to three months.
Reheat thawed them in the oven at 350° F or in the air fryer at 325° F until heated through.
How to Serve
Most, if not all, plates at a Southern fish fry (or even barbecue joints) come with hushpuppies. These two-bite, piping-hot pieces of fried cornbread are beloved in the South.
Though they can be enjoyed as a snack or served with just about anything, I would encourage you to first enjoy them with some classic Southern fare.
Here are a few tasty, southern-fried options:
As a snack, you can add a dipping sauce such as Remoulade Sauce or Tartar Sauce.
They can also replace cornbread with many meals so they work great with soups, stews, and chili! Serve them up with a bowl of Seafood Gumbo or a plate of Red Beans and Rice.
Whatever you choose to serve these bad boys with, it’s guaranteed to be a huge hit!
These are my top secrets for a great hushpuppy batter:
- Don’t over-mix. Overworking the batter will make for a dense, tough hush puppy. Stir the batter only up until the dry ingredients become moist.
- Add sugar. When added to a batter, sugar encourages browning and deepens the flavor. Even if you’re not a fan of sweeter cornbread, I would encourage you to still add sugar.
- Rest the batter. Allowing the batter to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes is key! During that time the batter will set and thicken.
- Warning and use caution! These freshly cooked cornmeal bites are delightful but they can be dangerously hot when they come out of the fryer. To avoid injury, please wait at least 5 minutes before popping one in your mouth.
- Use a tablespoon measure or a small scoop to measure out the batter. They don’t need to be perfectly shaped but using one of these utensils ensures they’re all similar in size and not too big.
The first recorded use of the word “hushpuppy” dates back to 1899! Back then, hunters and fishermen would fry up a simple corn mixture and feed it to their dogs. The mixture was often leftover from having bread-coated or battered their own food. These easy, cheap treats were known to “hush the puppies”.
They are close since they are basically fried cornbread but they do have a slightly different flavor since they usually include onion.
More Southern Bread Recipes
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Southern Hush Puppies Recipe
- ¾ cup white corn meal
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
- 6 tablespoons milk
- In a skillet, add frying oil and heat.
- In a medium sized bowl, add corn meal, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt and granulated sugar and whisk together to combine.
- Next add in egg, onion and milk and whisk until batter is thick and well combined.
- Over hot heat, drop in tablespoons of batter and fry until golden brown on all sides.
- Remove hush puppies once golden brown and drain on paper towels. Serve hot.
This post was originally published in February 2014. It has been updated with new images and content.
These were delicious and much easier than I thought they were going to be.
This recipe is like a taste of house, reminds very much of Jamaican Festival only using white cornmeal rather than yellow.
Sara Welch says
Enjoyed these for dessert tonight and they did not disappoint! Easy and delicious; like little bites of heaven! Easily, a new favorite recipe!