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Blend the cornmeal, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, beat together the buttermilk and egg. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid. Stir to combine, then add the onion and mix briefly till all the ingredients are moistened.
Heat 2 inches of oil to 350 degrees F in a deep, heavy saucepan and line a large platter with several layers of paper towels. Drop rounded tablespoons of batter into the hot oil, a few at a time. Fry for a few minutes on the first side, then turn and fry another minute or two until golden.
Drain the hush puppies on the paper towel-lined platter and serve hot.