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Minnesota Cooking: Deep-Fried Onion Rings With a Buttermilk Marinade

Char is a creative writer, artist, and inventor—in and out of the kitchen.

Onion rings but with a buttermilk marinade!

Onion rings but with a buttermilk marinade!

Onion Rings: The Basics

For a great onion ring, you must select the largest sweet onions you can find, large and round. The onion is peeled and sliced cross-ways in slices the width of your finger. The onion has natural rings inside, and you will have to separate the rings from each other.

You can, but usually do not, use all the rings from an onion. Most people use only the outside few since the size is large, and you get a ring. Too small, and you end up with just a blob with coating.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

1 hour

2 min

1 hour 2 min

1 batch of onions rings


  • 10 large, outer rings of onion
  • 5 rings of green pepper
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons Tabasco
  • 2 cups Fry Magic
  • 1 gallon canola oil, for deep-frying


  1. Slice the onions into finger-thick rings. Let them soak in buttermilk for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Drain the onions and collect the marinade in a bowl. Put Fry Magic coating mix in a covered box. Put four onions in Fry Magic. Shake to coat. Dip coated onions in the marinade and then recoat in Fry Magic.
  3. Carefully place in deep fryer. Let fry for 2 minutes or until rusty brown.
  4. Place browned onion rings onto a paper-lined plate to absorb the excess oil. Enjoy!
Crisp on the outside, sweet cooked onion on the inside.

Crisp on the outside, sweet cooked onion on the inside.

The Secret Is in the Marinade

The marinade is a blend of buttermilk and a couple of spoonfuls of Tabasco sauce.

Yes. Believe it or not. You take a gallon-size Ziploc bag and place your onion slices in it. Then, open a 16-ounce container of buttermilk and dump it in. Add your 2 tablespoons of Tabasco and close it up. Let the onions sit in this mixture for at least half an hour.

The buttermilk is a natural tangy flavor. The Tabasco sauce is, well, very hot. If you prefer no heat, skip the Tabasco.

Don't use Tabasco sauce if you don't enjoy the heat.

Don't use Tabasco sauce if you don't enjoy the heat.

That's Not All! Green Peppers, Too.

After your onions marinate, you'll need to pour the marinade mixture into a bowl. Then you'll need to dip your onion rings into a dry mix. Then back into the bowl of marinade and once again into the dry mix.

It's a wet, dry, wet, dry, deep-fry process.

You basically have to set your flavor and coat your onions with the powder so that the next batch of wet and dry will set on your onion.

Then, place it into your waiting deep fryer and fry it for 2 minutes. It may not even take 2 minutes; just long enough for your coating to become a deep, dark, rusty brown color. Then, take it out of the deep fryer. Place on a paper towel-covered plate or pan and prepare to eat.

Oh, and before I forget, I also sliced up some green pepper rings to 'just try' to fry.


Peel your onion. Discard outside. Peel off rings, and place in zip lock bag. Slice pepper. Add all to the gallon-size Ziploc bag.

Add buttermilk and Tabasco to the bag. Let it sit in the marinade, turning the bag occasionally to make sure the fluid moves around and the onions and peppers are always sitting in the mixture.


Yep. Just drain your onions and collect the marinade in a bowl.

Then, I put my onions in a box with a cover and shook them around, coating the pieces with the Fry Magic. Then, since the instructions that I had said to place the coated pieces back into the marinade and then back into the dry mix, I did that.

A double dip, I call it.

I questioned whether I needed to double dip and fried one onion ring without double dipping. Well, the coating fell off. The rings that I double-dipped stayed on and did not fall off.

That was the difference. So, I double-dipped all the rest. I did have to change my dry coating mix a bit since, with all the double dipping, my dry mix got too wet to stick to my onions. The only thing we noticed with this recipe was that you could really taste the salty taste of the Fry Magic with the Buttermilk marinade. The original recipe called for plain flour. Perhaps that would be better.

You'll have to try it both ways and let me know what you think.