In the South, nothing goes better with a plate of crispy fried shrimp or fish than a side of Southern Hush Puppies. They are amazingly easy to prepare, and insanely delicious to eat!
Southern Hush Puppies were a regular part of my growing up in the South. Whether they were plain or dressed up, I always looked forward to their crunchy exterior and cornbread like interior.
The story that we were told is that they got their name from cooks who during fish fries would fry up some of the batter and toss it to dogs to stop the barking, i.e., Hush Puppy! That made sense to me years ago, and still does!
Ingredients for Southern Hush Puppies:
I used the following ingredients: Yellow cornmeal, all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, Kosher salt, sweet onion, egg, and buttermilk. I fried the hush puppies in peanut oil.
Making the Southern Hush Puppies:
I started by whisking together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
Then, I added the minced onions, and stirred to combine everything. Next, I added the egg and buttermilk.
I stirred the mixture just until the dry ingredients were moistened, and set it aside for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, I attached a thermometer to my Dutch oven, and heated about 3-inches of peanut oil to 375° F. To me, it was important to use the thermometer. The reason was that the hush puppies tended to be greasy if cooked at a lower temperature. However, they tended to overcook on the outside if cooked at a higher temperature.
When the oil reached 375° F, I dropped tablespoonfuls of batter into it using an ice cream scoop. I only did 7 or 8 hush puppies at a time to minimize overcrowding and oil temperature reduction.
I cooked the hush puppies for 2 to 3 minutes per side until they were golden brown.
I transferred the cooked hush puppies to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Then, I repeated the process with the remaining batter.
I ended up with about 2 dozen absolutely delicious Southern Hush Puppies. I served them with fried shrimp and coleslaw for an outstanding Southern meal. Yum!
Southern Hush Puppies
- 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
- 3/4 cups (3.75 ounces) all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 3/4 cup diced sweet onion (about 1/2 medium onion)
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
- Peanut oil for frying (See Note 1)
- Pour oil to a depth of 3 inches in a dutch oven; heat to 375° F. (See Note 2)
- Whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add onion; stir to combine.
- Add egg and buttermilk; stir just until moistened. Let stand 10 minutes.
- Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls into hot oil, and fry, in 3 batches for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until golden brown. (See Note 3)
- Remove from oil; drain on wire rack set inside rimmed baking sheet.
- Keep warm in 200° F oven.
- Yield: 1 1/2 to 2 dozen Southern Hush Puppies.
Chula's Expert Tips
- I tend to use peanut oil because it can withstand high temperatures. However, vegetable oil would also work here. I would avoid olive oil.
- I always use a thermometer to ensure the proper oil temperature. The reason is that the hush puppies tend to be greasy if cooked at too low a temperature. Also, the outside tends to overcook if they are cooked at too high a temperature.
- I used an ice cream scoop here. The resultant hush puppies were pretty large. You might want to consider using a smaller ice cream scoop or spoon to produce smaller hush puppies.