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Beer-battered Onion Rings

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I am a fan of the onion ring. Done well, they’re glorious things, crisp and golden, with a sweet onion that hopefully doesn’t slither out when you bite into it. I rarely order them, unless I know they’re going to be good – it’s a high fat investment for something sub-par. And I rarely make them at home, but once in awhile I do – when there are people around to share, and I have a few nice, sweet onions that I don’t want to smother in the bottom of a soup or stew. They’re simple to make, and you only need about an inch of oil in the bottom of a small pot – there’s no need to heat vats of oil or invest in a deep fryer.

onion rings 1

They’re cheap – and look what you get. Just-fried and paper towelled, showered with salt and brought straight to the table – with a quickly stirred together aioli of lemon juice, mayo and mustard – will make your people very happy.

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Slice your onion crosswise and separate them into rings, then toss with flour – if the little skin starts to separate, just pull them off – this is what encourages them to slither out of their crackly casings.

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Canola oil works perfectly – you don’t need a special thermometer, only a wooden spoon handle or scrap of bread. My Belgian aunt, whose specialty was potato croquettes, taught me that if either sizzles when you dip it in, the oil is ready.

onion rings 1

Have a double layer of paper towel ready – I lay mine in the cast iron skillet that’s always on my stovetop – and shower with salt while they’re still hot. I like ground salt, so you get finer and flakier bits all at once. One onion will make a surprising number of onion rings – this formula will feed a small (or hungry) crowd.

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For a quick dip, spoon about 1/3 cup mayo into a small dish and stir in a spoonful of grainy mustard and squeeze of lemon. A good grind of pepper is good, too. Enjoy!

onion rings 2
onion rings 2

Beer-battered Onion Rings

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April 25, 2016


Beer-battered Onions:

1-2 sweet onions

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 tsp. baking powder

coarse or flaky salt

3/4 cup beer or soda water

canola oil, for cooking


1Slice the onions crosswise about 1/4-inch thick, separating them into rings.

2In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Whisk in the beer until smooth – it should have a texture somewhere between pancake batter and heavy cream.

3Heat about an inch of oil in a heavy medium pot set over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, but not smoking – a scrap of bread should sizzle when dipped in – dunk a few onion rings at a time in the batter to coat, then cook in the oil, turning with tongs as they turn golden. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and shower with coarse salt. Serve warm - they're delish with lemon aioli for dipping. Serves 4-6.


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5 comments on “Beer-battered Onion Rings

  1. Hal Walker
    April 25, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    I love onion rings too, but … the best onion rings are spiced – like the one from A & W!!

    • Julie
      April 26, 2016 at 10:00 am

      I’ve never had them!! you could always add a spicy seasoning to these – great idea!!

  2. Emily @ Life on Food
    April 26, 2016 at 9:49 am

    These look absolutely fabulous! I wish I could make some while at work on my lunch hour. Instead I might just have to search for a local place to have something similar. So much for eating well today.

  3. anny
    October 9, 2017 at 6:36 am

    Can i use sparkling water instead of beer ?
    If i use soda water is this without sugar ?

    Thank you.

    • Julie
      October 15, 2017 at 7:30 pm

      It will work, but they may not brown as well as a batter made with beer.

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