North Carolina Hush Puppies

Crisp yet soft, these log-shaped cornmeal fritters make the perfect partner for barbecue or a satisfying standalone snack.

  • Serves


  • Cook

    30 minutes


By SAVEUR Editors

Updated on October 25, 2023

Hush puppies are ubiquitous throughout North Carolina, but they’re not the little round ones you might be familiar with. Here, the cornmeal fritters come in thick, short strips that are closer to the size and shape of your index finger. A menu staple at barbecue restaurants, they make an excellent side dish, appetizer, or snack. Be sure to chop the onion very finely so that it cooks all the way through.

Featured in “East Vs. West: North Carolina Pulled Pork,” by Dana Bowen.


  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter
  • ¼ tsp. hot sauce
  • 1 medium yellow onion, very finely chopped
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


Step 1

In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, butter, hot sauce, onion, and ¼ cup of water. Using a spoon, stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture. Set aside for 10 minutes, then use a silicone spatula to transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a ¾-inch round tip. 

Step 2

Into a large heavy pot fitted with a deep-fry thermometer, pour the oil to a depth of 2 inches and turn the heat to medium-high. When the temperature reads 375°F, working in batches, pipe 3-inch logs of batter into the oil. Fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown, 2–3 minutes total. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Season the hush puppies to taste with more salt, and serve immediately.

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