Sweet onions are called for in this recipe for fried onion rings. The batter for the onion rings is spiced with a little cayenne pepper, but feel free to vary the seasonings with some Cajun or Creole seasoning or a seasoning salt. Use a light beer or club soda instead of water if you like.
See the deep-frying tips for advice on deep frying food and reusing cooking oil.
Onion rings make a tasty side dish or use them to top burgers and sandwiches.
- 1 large sweet onion
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Optional: 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2/3 cup water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 egg white, stiffly beaten
- salt, to taste
- Cut onion into rings and cover with ice water. Refrigerate while making the batter.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, cayenne pepper, water, and vegetable oil. Whisk to blend. fold in the beaten egg white.
- Drain the chilled onion ring slices; place them on paper towels and pat dry. Dip drained onion rings in the batter and fry them in small batches in hot oil (360 F) for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown.
- Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt, if desired.
Tips for Safe and Successful Deep Frying
- Food pieces should be uniform in size so they will cook evenly.
- Pat food to dry it before battering or breading.
- Lower food into hot oil slowly to prevent splattering.
- Fry food in several small batches to prevent the oil temperature from dropping.
- Pieces of food should not be touching each other, or they could cook unevenly.
- Remove food with a metal slotted spoon or strainer to paper towels or a rack. To keep batches warm, place the food in a pan lined with paper towels and keep it warm in a preheated 200 F oven.
- Remove small particles of food left behind. If they are left in the oil and burn, they could cause discoloration and shorten the life of the oil.
- If you are using an electric deep fryer with a plastic lid, make sure the oil has cooled before you replace the lid.
Reusing and Filtering Cooking Oil
Cooking oil eventually breaks down after repetitive exposure to high heat, water, and food particles. If the oil begins to smoke at normal deep-fry temperatures, appears discolored, smells rancid or stale, or foams around the frying food, it's probably time to replace the oil.
If you filter the oil and store it properly, it should be good for a dozen or more uses.
Filter the used oil through a specially made paper filter made for cooking oils or use a fine mesh strainer to catch food particles. Pour the oil through the filter paper or strainer into a storage container. Cover and refrigerate the oil or store it in a cool place.
The oil used for frying fish could impart a fishy flavor to other items, so keep oil used for frying fish in a separate container and only use it for frying fish.