Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

pam's variations on a theme - onion rings

(3 ratings)
Blue Ribbon Recipe by
Pam Ellingson
Wichita, KS

As my Dad used to say, "I have a Hankering for some onion rings!" I take after him in that I love all things onion. Haven't made onion rings in ages because I could never get the batter right. And, I don't like the commercial ones that are just slippery onion worms inside of a loose crust. (You know what I mean. You bite into them and the whole onion slides right out?) Well, I found a recipe on the net and changed it up a little with some extra spices and a touch of cornmeal. Then when I was convinced I had a real winner, I put them to the test and made Cheesy O Rings. WOOHOO.

Blue Ribbon Recipe

Crunchy and flavorful, we couldn't stop munching on these onion rings. Chili powder and cayenne seasoning add a punch of flavor. Panko crumbs add a wonderful crunch to the coating. In no way are these doughy. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce for a tasty side dish or snack.

— The Test Kitchen @kitchencrew
(3 ratings)
yield 2 to 4
prep time 15 Min
cook time 25 Min
method Deep Fry

Ingredients For pam's variations on a theme - onion rings

  • 2 to 3 sm
    onions, (3-inch diameter) use larger onions for a large batch
  • 1/4 c
    all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp
    corn starch
  • 1 Tbsp
    instant mashed potato flakes (I use Ore Ida)
  • 1 to 2 dash
    cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp
    mild chili powder (use hot if you like spicy)
  • 1/2 c
    cold soda water or warm beer or the uncola
  • 3 c
    Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c
  • enough neutral flavored oil for frying
  • salt or for the variation Vermont cheese powder (see link in steps)

How To Make pam's variations on a theme - onion rings

  • Sliced onions lightly dusted with flour.
    Peel and slice your onions and separate into rings. Sprinkle with a little flour and toss to coat very lightly. Place in a bowl or on paper towels til needed.
  • Onion ring batter in a pie plate.
    In a medium-sized shallow bowl, whisk together the flour, corn starch, potato flakes, and seasonings (except salt). Whisk your chosen bubbly liquid into the dry mixture well. It will appear thin but will thicken up from the potato flakes. Set aside until needed.
  • Onion ring dry ingredients in a pie plate.
    In another shallow bowl or pie plate, mix the Panko crumbs and cornmeal. Set up your frying station next to the stove or fryer. Onion rings first, batter next and then crumbs closest to the fryer.
  • Wire rack on a baking sheet and a skillet heating with oil.
    Place a wire cooling rack over/into a jelly roll pan and place in the oven at "Keep Warm" or 150°F. Heat oil to 365-375°F in either a deep fryer or a deep, narrow saucepan.
  • Onion ring dredging station set up.
    Dip a few of the onion rings into the batter and use a fork. Remove from batter and let any excess drip off. Place on the Panko crumb mixture and with a DRY fork turn the rings to coat with crumbs.
  • Frying the onion rings.
    Using either the dry fork or your fingers, drop the rings carefully into the hot oil. Turn the rings once when they get lightly golden.
  • Seasoning onion rings on a wire rack.
    Remove when fully golden and place on the prepared cooling rack. (I put them on a few folded paper towels until I had several batches fried and then transferred them to the rack in the oven.) As an alternative method, you could dip and coat the rings and then place them on the cooling rack to hold them to fry at a later time. This way you could do the "messy" part first and then turn your attention to frying.
  • Dipping Onion Rings in a dipping sauce.
    After frying, either salt lightly or sprinkle heavily with Cheddar Cheese Powder and toss to coat. (I bought some bright yellow-orange cheese powder from a local store, but I prefer the Vermont cheese powder from King Arthur Flour - This makes a small batch, enough for 2 hungry onion eaters or 4 appetizers. For a family, I would at least double these amounts.