Hushpuppies are little golden, deep-fried cornbread nuggets! You can drizzle them in honey or dip them in ranch dressing.
Whenever we visit coastal North Carolina we look forward to drinking sweet tea, eating southern-style barbecue, and snacking on hushpuppies! Some restaurants serve them as a side and at others you can order them as an appetizer.
Hush Puppy Ingredients
When we started researching hush puppies, we realized that the ingredients used to make them vary depending on where you live in the south. We decided to make them the only way we’ve ever eaten them which is similar to cornbread with just a hint of onion. Scroll down for the complete recipe with ingredient measurements.
- Flour: The all-purpose flour provides the structure for the hushpuppies and gives them shape and texture.
- Cornmeal: The cornmeal adds texture and flavor as well as color. It also helps the hush puppies get that crispy, golden exterior.
- Baking Powder: This is the main leavener in this recipe.
- Onion Powder: We added a little onion powder for flavor. Diced onions are another popular choice.
- Salt: A little salt adds makes a big difference.
- Buttermilk: The buttermilk helps bring all of the ingredients together. It provides moisture as well as some flavor.
- Egg: The egg adds moisture, helps leaven the dough, and provides structure.
- Honey: We used honey as the sweetener in this hush puppy recipe. You can substitute the honey with granulated sugar or brown sugar.
- Peanut Oil: We used peanut oil for deep-frying. Vegetable oil is another popular choice.
Additional Popular Ingredients To Add
If you are looking for a hush puppy with a little more in it, try adding some of these ingredients and spices. As I mentioned, these are popular in certain parts of the south. Keep in mind that if you add or remove ingredients you may have to adjust the amount of flour and buttermilk needed.
- Onions: minced or grated white onion, scallions, or chives
- Peppers: diced bell peppers and minced jalapenos
- Corn: sweet corn or creamed corn
- Cheese: shredded cheddar or parmesan
- Seasonings: cayenne pepper, garlic powder
Is there a buttermilk substitute?
There are a couple of options for buttermilk substitutes. One is to store powdered buttermilk like this in your refrigerator. Simply mix it with water when you are ready to use it.
Another option is to make soured milk for a buttermilk substitute. For one cup of buttermilk, mix one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice into one cup of milk. Allow the mixture to sit for five to ten minutes before using it.
How To Make Hushpuppies
Hushpuppies are not complicated to make but they do take extra care since they are deep-fried in hot oil. We use a deep-fryer but you can also make them in a large, heavy-duty pot with a thermometer to monitor the temperature. Scroll down for the printable recipe card and complete instructions.
- Batter: Make the hush puppy batter by first combining the dry ingredients and then stirring in the wet ingredients until just combined.
- Deep-Fry: Heat the oil to 365˚F. Carefully monitor the temperature using a thermometer. Drop the batter by spoonfuls into the hot oil. Cook until golden brown.
- Serve: They can be served with ranch dressing, honey, or even whipped cinnamon butter for dipping.
Hushpuppies Frequently Asked Questions
There are several stories or claims about hush puppies and how they started. Croquettes de maise were made by Ursaline Nuns in Louisana in the 1700s. In South Carolina, an African American cook named Romeo Govan made them in the early 20th century and they were called “Red Horse Bread”. A common story is that they were fried bits of dough thrown to puppies (by slaves, hunters and trappers, or confederate soldiers) to quiet them.
They are made of flour, cornmeal, baking powder, buttermilk, honey, egg, salt, and onion powder and are deep-fried in oil.
Hush puppies go with fried fish, fried chicken, pulled pork, shrimp, crab cakes, and Southern barbecue. They can also be served as an appetizer.
Want more deep fried recipes? Try these next:
This Corn Fritter recipe makes tender little fried balls of dough with bits of sweet corn inside. Serve them warm with maple syrup and honey drizzled on top.
Ultimate Jalapenos Popper recipe for a party appetizer that everyone loves! Crispy on the outside with melted cheese and bacon on the inside.
This deep Fried Pickles recipe is a fun way to eat fair food at home! Serve the crispy fried pickles on a stick as an appetizer with dipping sauce.
Deep-fried, crispy Elephant Ears topped with cinnamon sugar give you a taste of the fair at home and the no yeast fry bread recipe is super easy to make.