Shrimp Hush Puppies with Spicy Remoulade

My best friend just had a baby. She took her time in considering this event, longer even than I did. Was she okay enough? Was the world okay enough? Would the benefits outweigh the extreme possibility of mistakes and genetic misfortune. I’m so thankful she waited until she was certain, and when time was right she went for it with an earnest heart, with her partner (now husband) of more than a decade. And now we have this brand-new person to ruin and spoil and adore. To paraphrase Melly from Gone With the Wind, “the happiest days are when babies come.” Hooray for Baby Ross!

So I’ve been thinking about her a lot in recent weeks. Our friendship goes back twenty years, beginning when we were somewhat lost and lonely high school sophomores. We’d sit in her bedroom with guitars, listening to The Murmurs, Juliana Hatfield, Simon and Garfunkle, go for moonlit walks near the beach, and make plans to escape our small Connecticut town. In college we’d meet on St. Marks for coffee, bad tattoos, and falafel. After that we’d live together briefly in Brooklyn during the hottest summer on record (in my mind). Weekends we’d go to Coney Island and drink Bloody Marys. We each left New York after that. She for New Zealand and all over the Far East and me to a beach in Mexico. We were each others’ maids of honor. Eventually we repatriated. She’s in San Francisco. And I’m here.

At eighteen we started taking road trips in the summer. Girl adventures in which we would drive as far as we could, then camp in whatever manner we could afford. We’ve looked up at the sky together from a mosquito-infested cabin in Virginia Beach, a leafy room at the site of Chichen Itza, and a pretty town square in the Russian River Valley, wine tasting and kayaking and listening to the best Beck album, which is, inarguably, Odelay. The first year was the most thrilling. Though I’d lived away at college, a trip to the Outer Banks was farther than I’d been without a chaperone. We made our own campfire all by ourselves, dove into the crashing waves like midnight mermaids, and ate one “fancy” meal out. With hushpuppies and monkfish.

Our friendship has evolved over the years. Sometimes we go too long without talking and then we feel weird and disconnected briefly. But there’s always this undercurrent of understanding. Of a million conversations about past, present, and future. About love and the difference between happiness and satisfaction. She tells me things no one else does. Her insights are invaluable and I cherish every memory of every walk and all the different landscapes we’ve inhabited together. These days we FaceTime with our babies in the foreground, for the time our introspection suspended to tend to the needs of these ridiculous chubby creatures. I hope our lives parallel for infinity.

My hushpuppy recipe adds shrimp and fresh corn and a dipping sauce sort of like a remoulade. They are go-od. Like, we ate the entire batch good. I even convinced Violet to eat them by calling them “corn fritters”. She thinks eating shrimp or fish is absurd. And making remoulade is exactly like being a kid scientist in the kitchen. Take out all the condiments in the fridge and start mixing and taste-testing. (I’m sure Louisianans and/or the French will love that pithy assessment). Make sure you’ve got your oil at the right heat, that you have paper towels or brown bags for draining, and, ideally, a six-pack of beers to drink. We always liked Magic Hat. But I realize now that makes us seem old, like women whose youth has passed and who are bravely facing the future by having babies whose future we won’t ever fully know.

Shrimp Hush Puppies


Shrimp Hush Puppies with Spicy Remoulade

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 40


For the Hushpuppies

  • ½ lb shrimp, peeled, deveined, chopped
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup poblano pepper, finely diced
  • ¼ yellow onion, finely diced
  • ½ cup corn kernels
  • Oil for frying

For the remoulade

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup brown mustard
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • Dash of Tabasco


For the Hushpuppies

  1. In a large mixing bowl whisk together corn meal, flour, baking powder, sugar, spices, and salt.
  2. In another large bowl whisk together egg, buttermilk, poblano, onion, corn, and shrimp.
  3. Stir wet ingredients into dry until just combined. Batter will be loose.
  4. Heat oil in a deep pan over medium heat, 375 degrees F.
  5. Spoon by the teaspoonful into hot oil and fry until golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes per side.
  6. Remove to paper towels to drain, and serve with remoulade.

For the Remoulade

  1. Whisk together all ingredients and adjust seasoning to taste.


  • Serving Size: 4
  • Calories: 746
  • Sugar: 8
  • Sodium: 1480
  • Fat: 50
  • Saturated Fat: 8
  • Unsaturated Fat: 40
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 52
  • Protein: 22
  • Cholesterol: 193
Jillian Bedell

Jillian Bedell is a writer and mother living in a farmhouse in Cushing, Maine. She is very good at talking about herself in the third person. She is co-author of Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road.


  1. Lovely post.
    Fish fry for celebrations at our home
    Just went up a notch as we must try this recipe in our fryer, even if we are land-locked Coloradoans.

  2. My dad always made hush puppies with a fish fry. He is quite a fisherman, and they went so well with catfish and bass. Yours “kick it up a notch!” I’m anxious to try them. Oh, and I love stories that connect loved ones and food 🙂

    1. Thanks Tamara! I like that these are a nice little package of everything. As a Northerner I was a little worried about mucking up a classic, but it seems to be a good evolution.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.