These Tender, Sizzling Hush Puppies Come Together in 35 Minutes, Flat


Fluffy hush puppies served with a sweet and spicy butter make for the ultimate appetizer.


Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

Total Time:
35 mins
10 servings

When chef and owner of Kindred, Hello, and Sailor in North Carolina, Joe Kindred went to seafood restaurants as a child, it wasn’t for the fish. As a kid, my favorite part was the hush puppies that would hit the table super crispy, piping hot, and served with a Country Crock–style butter,” he says. “As a chef, I wanted to create a version of hush puppies that was elevated but still struck those childhood memories for myself and others.”

Kindred channeled those memories into this recipe to make fluffy hush puppies with a lacy, crisp crust. The secret to the hush puppies’ tender, light crumb? “To keep them extra crispy, I use frozen grated butter gently folded into the batter,” Kindred says. For an extra upgrade, Kindred suggests looking for the best fine cornmeal you can find: “I start with incredibly fresh milled cornmeal from my buddy Greg at Marsh Hen Mill.”

Frequently asked questions

What can I dip hush puppies in? 

If you’re leaning toward savory dipping sauces, ketchup, honey mustard, or a remolaude all go great with hush puppies. If you'd like to keep things on the sweet side, butter, maple syrup, or even caramel work well.

For an easy upgrade, serve these hush puppies with Kindred's easy sweet and spicy yuzu kosho–honey butter.

Notes from the Food & Wine Test Kitchen

The secret to frying is temperature control. When adding anything to hot oil, the temperature automatically drops. By cooking hush puppies in batches, the oil comes back up to temperature between batches, ensuring that whatever you are frying is crispy and cooked all the way through.

The quality of your cornmeal can transform really good hush puppies into really great ones. Chef Kindred especially recommends Jimmy Red, a yellow- and red-flecked cornmeal with a chestnutlike flavor; find it at This recipe also works with another fine yellow cornmeal such as McEwen & Sons.


Hush puppies

  • Canola oil, for frying

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3 ounces), frozen

  • 1 medium-size yellow onion

  • 3/4 cup fine yellow cornmeal (such as Marsh Hen Mill Jimmy Red Cornmeal)

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/8 ounces)

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk

  • 2 large eggs, beaten


  1. Heat 2 inches of oil in a large Dutch oven over medium to 350°F. Meanwhile, grate frozen butter using the large holes of a box grater into a medium bowl; transfer butter to freezer. Grate onion using the large holes of box grater; squeeze onion in a double layer of paper towels to remove as much liquid as possible. Reserve 1/2 cup squeezed grated onion; discard any remaining grated onion or reserve for another use.

  2. Whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder in a large bowl. Whisk together buttermilk, eggs, and grated onion in a separate medium bowl. Pour buttermilk mixture over cornmeal mixture, and top with frozen grated butter. Fold together until just combined.

  3. Working in batches, drop spoonfuls of batter (about 1 1/2 tablespoons each) into hot oil, being careful not to overcrowd. Fry until crispy and golden brown on all sides, about 2 minutes, flipping once after 1 minute. Transfer hush puppies to a paper towel–lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

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