Do you love onion rings? Do you love golden brown onion rings with a light crispy coating? Do you? Well, have I got the onion rings for you! This tempura-style batter, made with beer rather than seltzer water and seasoned flour, turns out the most wonderful onion rings. Really, really wonderful onion rings. Do you hear the onion ring? Answer it!
I don’t deep fat fry often, but every year when the Vidalia onions are fresh in the stores for the season, it is as if the onions are ringing all the bells, chimes and ringtones at full volume. Mr. Saucy and I just have to answer! No letting it flip over to voice mail, the call of the onion rings must be answered.
I have experimented with so many different batters over the years for onion rings. So many batters have just not been what I was searching for to give the quintessential onion ring. Needless to say, there have been many onion ring failures in our household. This batter and this method really are fool-proof; they will turn out perfect onion rings every. single. time.
One of the issues with other batters was that you needed to stand over the onion rings and eat them almost immediately when they come out of the oil, or they are soggy. This batter stays crispy and reheats well. As a matter of fact, I put all the onion rings on a baking sheet when they come out of the oil, then into the oven to reheat them all at once. It works beautifully! Another problem I had with batters is that they would slide off the onion ring as they fried. By flouring the rings prior to dipping them in the batter, the batter holds perfectly.
Now, let me talk about dipping sauces for a moment. Mr. Saucy is, most likely, the biggest fan of ketchup. Ever. He very well could be, single-handedly, responsible for keeping the Heinz Company in business. However! For years and years, I refused to purchase ketchup. Ketchup has been loaded with high-fructose corn syrup; I look upon this ingredient as poison. About a year ago, Heinz came out with a ketchup called Simply Heinz, which does not contain high-fructose corn syrup. The ketchup ban was lifted and Mr. Saucy rejoiced.
Prior to that, however, I had to come up with a substitute dipping sauce for the onion rings. The spicy “dijonnaise” I’m posting here is wonderful! It’s really super with any tempura battered vegetable, so if you are not a fan of the onion, the batter and the dijonnaise work with anything. I’ve used both for beer tempura cauliflower, green beans, mushrooms, asparagus…you name it. The dijonnaise is also a great sandwich spread.
Do you hear the onion ring? Answer it!
- FOR THE BATTER:
- 4-6 cups Canola oil (depending on the size of the pan - you want about 4 inches of oil in the bottom of the pan)*
- 1 large Vidalia onion, peeled, sliced ¼ - ½" thick, separated in rings
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 12 ounces beer (use only light-coloured beer)
- FOR THE DIJONNAISE:
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoons prepared horseradish
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- In a large sauce pan, bring the oil to 375 degrees F.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, place the flour, corn starch, Cajun seasoning, garlic powder and salt.
- Stir until mixed.
- Dampen the rings of onion under cold water, drain on a paper towel.
- Toss the drained rings of onion in the flour mixture and remove to a plate.*
- Stir the beer into the flour mixture in the bowl until mixed (you can use a whisk or a fork to remove any lumps of flour).
- Once the oil is to temperature, one at a time, dip a ring of onion into the batter and drop into the hot oil. You may fry more than one ring at a time, but don't over-crowd the pan.
- The onions will drop to the bottom of the pan, then pop to the surface. Once the onions come to the surface of the oil, fry for about 1 minute, using tongs, flip the ring over in the oil and continue to fry until golden brown. You may flip the rings a couple of times to get to the level of golden brown you desire.
- Remove the onion rings to a baking sheet.
- Repeat the above procedure until all the rings are fried.
- Place the onion rings into the hot oven for about 4 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and serve.
- FOR THE DIJONNAISE:
- Place all the ingredients into a small bowl and stir until combined.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
**Once the oil is cool, using a funnel and a small mesh strainer, put the strainer over the funnel, with the funnel inserted into the oil container, pour the oil through the strainer/funnel back into the container.
You'll be surprised how little oil is absorbed into the onion rings.