Food & Drink

Tender, Sizzling Hush Puppies

Joe Kindred, chef and owner at Kindred, Hello, and Sailor in North Carolina, didn’t go to seafood restaurants for the fish as a kid. As a child, my favorite part of the meal was the crispy, hot hush puppies served with Country Crock butter. As a chef, I wanted to create an elevated version of Hush Pups that still brought back childhood memories.

Kindred incorporated those memories in this recipe for hush puppies to create a fluffy, lacey interior and a crisp crust. What is the secret of the light, tender crumb in hush puppies? Kindred says that to keep the hush puppies extra crispy; she uses frozen grated butter folded gently into the batter. Kindred recommends that you upgrade your cornmeal to the finest possible: “I use freshly milled cornmeal purchased from my friend Greg at Marsh Hen Mill.”


Hush puppies

  • Canola Oil for frying
  • Six tablespoons unsalted butter (3 ounces), frozen
  • One medium-sized 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)
  • Two teaspoons of baking powder
  • Two teaspoons of granulated sugar
  • One teaspoon of 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
  • Two large eggs, beaten


  1. In a large Dutch Oven, heat 2 inches of oil on medium until it reaches 350degF. In the meantime, grated frozen butter into a bowl using a box grater with large holes. Transfer butter to the freezer. Use the large holes on a box grater to grate the onion. Squeeze the onion between two layers of paper towels in order to remove as much moisture as possible. Reserve 1/2 cup of squeezed grated onions; discard any grated onion that remains or is reserved for another use.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together cornmeal and flour with baking powder and sugar. Salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and baking powder. In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, grated onion, and eggs. Pour the buttermilk mixture on top of the cornmeal mixture and sprinkle with grated frozen butter. Fold until combined.
  3. Do not overcrowd the oil. Drop spoonfuls (about 1 1/2 teaspoons) of batter into it in batches. Fry until golden and crispy on all sides. This should take about 2 minutes. Flipping the hush puppies after one minute is recommended. Transfer the hushpuppies to a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Add additional salt or pepper according to your taste. Serve hot.

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