Time Portal Beer-Battered Onion Rings – Tempura Style
If you’ve ever devoured scratch-made onion rings at an all-night diner that left your mouth tingly from the ketchup, your belly satiated with sweet onions hugged by the perfect batter, and your brain already planning your next deep-fried-beer-battered-onion-ring fix …
Well then, you understand the quest.
|Some diners get you hooked on onion ring perfection, and then they pull the old “bait & switch”. You get yourself all situated in the booth – practically salivating over the anticipated golden rings of desire – and you are crushed when they plop down their new “healthy version” in front of you.
Yeah. If I’m opting for “healthy”:
And then there are some of your more upscale restaurants that have mouth-watering descriptions of what you just know will be incredibly tasty. Until “hand-breaded” turns out to be the “hands” of the person that put them in a cardboard box before they are frozen for shipment.
That is the worst. Once your taste buds are all jazzed up for the real deal, your first bite into previously frozen onion rings can be a deal breaker. Now, for the record, I’m not suggesting that you stand up and flip your table over, spew a string of profanities at your waiter, or pull a dine-n-dash.
What I am suggesting, is that you quiz your server on the authenticity of those potential rings of dreams. Well, either that or …….
Make your own!!!
- Seriously. They are pretty easy – not as easy as throwing frozen ones in the oven. But you do have standards, am I right??
- They are super cheap to make! For a fraction of the cost your favorite watering hole charges, you can have a triple order and not be annoyed by the person at the next table with the crappy day and no understanding of “inside voice”.
- Ambitious? Make a not-quite-literal ton of homemade onion rings! Reheat the leftovers in a toaster oven for tomorrow’s breakfast, lunch and dinner. (And maybe get a good hike in after your food coma nap).
- They are delicious!!! Remember the best onion rings you’ve ever had? Maybe back when you were just a kid and your biggest worry was Monday’s math test? Served with a chocolate malt and a coney dog with light mustard and onions? Oh yeah, that’s what I’m talking about!
|Alright, so maybe you are not quite as passionate about your onion rings as I apparently am. For me, a really fantastic onion ring is made with thick-cut sweet onions, a light and crispy batter, and it transports me back to a time when my parents and sister were still with us.
Back then, my dad’s solution to my “eyes bigger than (my) stomach” syndrome was to set an amount I could spend on the meal. If I went over, I had to pay the difference. If I was under, I got to pocket the remainder. I went home a happy little girl after many onion ring meals – with cash in my pocket.
It’s funny how certain foods can so vividly take you back to a particular time and place. These beer-battered onion rings with a tempura coating are like a time portal for me.
Whisking me back to a time before “carb” was a household word and ketchup might have been considered a vegetable. Sitting in a booth after church, talking, laughing and noshing on onion rings … that were not quite as good as the ones I make today …
- 3 Large Sweet Onions
- 1 Cup Buttermilk
- 3 Cups All-Purpose Flour divided
- 1 1/2 Cups Cornstarch
- 2 1/2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
- 2 1/2 Teaspoons Onion Powder
- 2 1/2 Teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
- 2 1/2 Teaspoons Granulated Sugar
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt plus more for sprinkling
- 12 Ounces Beer your favorite of course!
- 2 Cups Cold Water
- 1 Large Egg
- Vegetable or Canola Oil for frying
Slice onions into 1/2-inch thick rings and separate.
Pour buttermilk into one bowl and 1 cup of flour into another. Soak rings in buttermilk for a few minutes, then toss into flour and let sit at least 30 minutes.
Whisk together beer, water and egg. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients until thoroughly combined. Gradually add the wet mixture to the dry.
Heat an inch of oil in a large pot or deep fryer, until it registers 350°F.
Working in batches, dredge the onion rings in the batter and carefully drop into the hot oil. Cook onion rings until just golden. (They will continue to darken a tad after they are removed from oil).
Sprinkle cooked rings with salt (if desired), and keep warm in oven while frying remaining batches. (Normally, I would sprinkle with salt - but these don't really need it - conduct a taste test on your first few).
Enjoy & Repeat!