$31,782 to go to meet our Challenge Grant, by December 1st. Your gift now will count twice!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Catholic Recipe: Hush Puppies


  • 2 cups fine white corn meal, sifted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 teaspoons baking powder
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • Details

  • Serves: 8-10
  • Prep Time: N/A
  • Difficulty:
  • Cost: N/A
  • For Ages: 3+
  • Origin: United States

Hush puppies and fried fish are as inseparable in the South as pork and beans in the North. Stories about the evolution of hush puppies-delightful little fried cakes made from finest white corn meal-are as varied as their methods of preparation. For on both points North Carolina disagrees with South Carolina, Maryland with Florida, and every other state with its next door neighbor.

The hush puppy tale I like best comes from Texas, where catfish is a dish for kings. Long ago, Texas fishermen made a great discovery. After the catch, the men always fried their catfish in a little fat. One day someone had the idea of stirring up corn meal and water and frying it in the rich fish-flavored oil in the pan. The aroma of fish and browning corn cakes was irresistible to both the men and their hungry dogs. All the pups in the neighborhood suddenly leaped out from nowhere and assembled about the fry pans. With lolling tongues and drooling jaws the animals jumped, sniffed, whined, and begged. Each second the uproar increased. The yaps and yelps ceased only when the cooks said, "Hush, puppies, hush!" and threw spoonfuls of fried batter to the waiting dogs.

Other legends attribute the creation of hush puppies to the womenfolk, who made them when they fried fish at local quilting bees. In some regions it was the sugar cane workers who originated the delicacy while the sugar syrup was boiling in the kettles.

Regardless of who made the first hush puppies, or their place of origin, they come to us from the past, a precious part of America's cooking heritage.

There are many ways of making these crisp golden-brown fried cakes. I like them best with the addition of eggs and chopped onion. Hush puppies properly belong to camp fires and barbecues and appetites sharpened by exercise and clean fresh air. But hush puppies are also appreciated with fish dinners at home. Always make plenty of them and serve them hissing from the pan.


Sift together the meal, baking powder, and salt. Add onion and mix thoroughly. Combine milk, melted butter, and beaten eggs, add to first mixture, and stir until thoroughly blended.

Drop batter by spoonfuls into deep fat and fry (360? F.) until puffy and golden brown on all sides. If preferred, a little more meal may be added to make a stiffer batter, which then is molded into finger-shaped cakes before frying.

Recipe Source: Feast-Day Cakes from Many Lands by Dorothy Gladys Spicer, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1960
Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Putting Our Best Foot Forward 5 hours ago
Contentious Spirits, Beware! October 30
And here's another very old story: the secular media don't understand Catholic affairs October 29
How not to be persuasive October 29
Francis the Man, Francis the Pope October 28

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6