I could eat these crispy fried onions at any time, any day. They are a meal in themselves if you want them to be. With different dips, they take on new identities.
Dip them in blue cheese or ranch dressing and you’ve got yourself a great snack to munch during the game — or while watching The Sporting Chef! Dip them in something more substantial like cheese or hummus, and you’ve got the makings of a meal.
On the other hand, crispy fried onions also make a delicious crunchy topping for a main dish. In my second episode as host of The Sporting Chef, I pair this recipe with another favorite comfort food: Hamburger Steak with Mushroom Gravy.
Tips that Make Onion Rings or Fried Onions Perfect
- Cut the onion slices thin. This creates an extra-crunchy texture, making them perfect for topping casseroles or as a condiment on salads. Thinner onion pieces fry up faster, too.
- Keep the oil between 350 and 375 degrees. Don’t let the temperature drop below 350, or your onions will turn from crispy to soggy.
- Fry the onion pieces in small batches to ensure temperature stability and maximum crispiness.
- Use buttermilk for your first dipping tray. Buttermilk adds a sharp tang that improves flavor, especially when you’re frying sweet onions like Vidalias. While the buttermilk adds a little twang, the hot sauce in the first dipping gives the onions a kick that’s needed, in my opinion. You can substitute cayenne for the Tabasco if you want.
- Drain your fried onions well and give them a few minutes to crisp up before you eat them.
- Always check the seasoning. After the onions come out of the fryer and have cooled a bit, taste and adjust as needed. Most likely you will need to add a little salt or heat. I like adding black pepper, too!
Crispy Fried Onions
- 2 ½ cups buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons Tabasco hot sauce
- 2 large Vidalia onions very thinly sliced
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt plus more for sprinkling
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- vegetable oil for frying
- In a large bowl, add buttermilk and Tabasco and mix well. Add the onions and cover completely with the buttermilk.
- In a separate large bowl, add the flour, salt, and pepper.
- In a large Dutch oven, add oil to at least the depth of 4 inches. Heat oil over high heat to 375 degrees F.
- In batches, remove onions from the buttermilk mixture and dredge onions in the flour mixture until completely coated, shaking off any excess flour. With a spider or slotted spoon, slowly lower the onions into the hot oil. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until golden. If the onions are bunching, break them apart with the slotted spoon. Remove onions to a paper towel-lined plate and allow to drain.