How to Make Homemade Onion Rings
Making Homemade Onion Rings is Quick and Easy
Onion rings are a very popular form of fast food and are sold in a wide variety of restaurants, at what—sadly and unfortunately—can often be exorbitant and totally unjustifiable prices. If you consider for a moment how inexpensive the ingredients are, the prices are out of all proportion. The good news is that fast-food-quality onion rings are incredibly easy to make at home, and you don't need special ingredients or equipment. This recipe shows you how to make homemade onion rings and how to use up the remaining chopped onions too.
What Size and Color Onion Should I Use for Onion Rings?
The type of onion that you use to make onion rings is very important. Large, white onions such as those pictured above are perfect. Top and tail the onion, peel it, and slice your knife across the width of the onion, cutting pieces a quarter of an inch in size. It is vitally important to slice in the right direction or your onion will not come apart in rings, it will be in strips.
When making onion rings, it is likely that you are only going to use the bigger rings of the onion. This means that you will have to find a use for the smaller rings. In fast-food restaurants, it may well be the case that these smaller rings are discarded, the cost of this waste being passed on to you, the consumer. At home, this should ideally be avoided.
Split each of the onion slices in to rings. Depending upon your preference, divide the rings according to size: one grouping that will be used to make the onion rings and another grouping that will be used for an alternative purpose.
- 24 large onion rings
- 2 tbsp self-raising flour
- Chilled tonic or soda water
- Sunflower oil for frying
- Put the flour in to a large plastic container with a sealable lid and season with salt. Add the onion rings. Put the lid on the container and gently shake for a minute. Remove the onion rings one at a time to a clean plate, shaking off the excess flour in each instance.
- Slowly start pouring a little of the water in to the flour mixture, stirring constantly. You want to make a batter with the consistency of thick cream or paint.
- Although a deep frier can of course be used, using a deep frying pan to make the onion rings allows you to control their cooking much more effectively. Pour enough sunflower oil in to a pan to achieve a depth of about one inch and bring up to a fairly high heat.
- The onion rings should be cooked in batches of four to six at a time. Take each ring and submerge in the batter. Shake off the excess batter and carefully place in to the pan. Fry for two to three minutes each side. Remove to a plate covered with kitchen towel to drain before serving.
Using Up the Leftover Onion Pieces
This is one option for using the remaining rings of each onion. These spiced onions can be served in many ways, and above they are served simply with a few traditional poppadoms (an Indian-style crispy tortilla). The quantities in this recipe will make two portions of the above dish.
Important note: Always be careful when making spiced onions. Although this dish will likely seem only moderately spicy to some, others will find them too hot. It is easier to add more chili spice than it is to add other ingredients to offset the spiciness. So it's easier to under-spice it than over-spice it. If someone likes things very hot, let them add more heat of their own accord.
- Approx 1/2 a large white onion
- 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 1/2 tsp ground fenugreek seed
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp freshly chopped basil
- These take no more than a couple of minutes to prepare. Do note, however, that it is essential to leave them covered in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours to allow the flavours to infuse. They simply won't taste as flavorful if you eat them right away.
- Put all the ingredients except the onions in to a stone or glass (not plastic) mixing bowl. Stir well to combine. Roughly chop the onion rings. Stir them carefully through the sauce, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until required.
Indian Spiced Onions With Bruschetta
It may not sound like an obvious combination but this fusion of Indian and Italian cuisine is absolutely delicious, proving that these onions go very well with many accompaniments beyond the conventional. Bruschetta is believed to have originated in Italy as a means of using up slightly stale bread and preventing it from going to waste. I used three slices from a long, crusty loaf but virtually any type of bread can be used.
- Start with the above Indian spiced onions recipe.
- Toast the bread under an overhead grill.
- Peel a clove of garlic and partially crush it under the blade of a large knife to release its juices.
- Rub the hot, toasted bread with the crushed garlic clove to impart the flavour.
- Drizzle each piece of bread with a little extra virgin olive oil. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve immediately.
How do you like to use up the rest of your onions?
Make Beef Burgers Topped With Onion Rings
Onion rings in fast-food restaurants will very often be coated with breadcrumbs to give them a little extra crunch. That is the only real difference with these compared to the ones featured further up this page. For best results, do use fresh breadcrumbs, rather than those bought packaged from the supermarket.
- 1/2 minced/ground beef
- 2 soft bread rolls
- 1 large white onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 4 tbsp breadcrumbs (about 3 standard slices)
- 2 tbsp self-raising flour
- Chilled soda or tonic water
- Salt and black pepper
- Sunflower oil for frying
- Peel and slice the onion and separate it in to rings. Allow eight to ten large rings per person, and set aside. Finely chop the remainder of the onion. Add it to a mixing bowl with the beef, the peeled and finely chopped garlic clove, and salt and black pepper. Mix very well by hand, squeezing the other ingredients into the meat and compacting it as much as possible. Separate the mash in to two equal portions, roll in to balls, and flatten between your palms to form half-inch-thick burgers.
- Put some sunflower oil in to a non-stick saucepan. The burgers should be fried very over a low to moderate heat for eight to ten minutes each side. Do not press the burgers down with a spatula as they cook. This serves only to squeeze the juices out of them and make the cooked burgers dry. The cooked burgers should be rested in the pan for two or three minutes before being served.
- The onion rings are prepared exactly as above with the exception of being dipped in breadcrumbs immediately after being dredged in the batter. Shake off the excess breadcrumbs by lightly tapping them on a plate prior to putting them in the hot oil.
- While the burgers are resting and the rings are draining on kitchen paper, the bread rolls should be halved and lightly toasted. The meal can then be plated and served with a couple of slices of tomato and a teaspoon of mayo as a garnish, if desired.
Thank you for cooking with me. I hope it has at least shown how easy it is to make homemade onion rings. Any comments or feedback that you have may be left in the space below.
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© 2011 Gordon N Hamilton