Hush puppies

Hush puppies

The Hang Fire Cookbook

Originally from Georgia, the story goes that when people made cornbread in the pan, any crusty bits that were left were thrown to the hungry, whining dogs – hush that puppy! We have been making variations of these tasty, savoury donuts as a side dish at our kitchen takeovers ever since we ate them at our first South Carolina barbecue experience. We serve these with a little Louisiana-style Remoulade. You can make all sorts of versions of hush puppies, see below for suggestions.


Quantity Ingredient
250g fine polenta or fine cornmeal
150g self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
330ml brown beer, (or sparkling water)
120g frozen sweetcorn kernels
3 spring onions, finely sliced
120g mature cheddar cheese, grated
1 litre vegetable oil, for deep-frying
1 teaspoon smoked sea salt


  1. In a large bowl, add the polenta or cornmeal, flour and bicarbonate of soda, fine sea salt, onion and garlic powder and black pepper, and mix through using a fork or balloon whisk until well combined. Add half the beer, mix through, then pour in the remaining half, making sure all the flour is combined. Next, add the corn, spring onions, grated cheese and mix well to form a batter. Set aside.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large, deep pan and set over high heat. You want the oil to reach about 175°C. If you don’t have a thermometer, the oil is hot enough when a small amount of batter dropped into the pan turns crisp and golden. Using two tablespoons, scoop the batter into one spoon and use the other to push it into the hot oil. It’s worth testing one hush puppy first so you can gauge how big you want them. Fry the hush puppies in small batches, for 3–4 minutes, or until they are bobbing on the surface of the oil, and golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to remove them and drain on a plate lined with kitchen towel (or wire rack with kitchen towel underneath). Sprinkle over a bit of smoked sea salt while hot and serve right away.

Boozy puppy

  • When choosing a beer, we’ve found that a less hoppy brew works best for that beer batter flavour. We’ve made all sorts of hush puppies in the past, like jalapeño and cheese, caramelised onions, sun-dried tomatoes and tiny bits on mozzarella, bacon or pulled pork bits, oregano and garlic granules (they are really good), habanero chilli and coriander... and probably half a dozen more. The only thing to beware is falling into the temptation of adding too much cheese; it can go too gooey and prevent the batter from cooking through on the inside.
Deep South
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