Posted by: jiminmontana | May 7, 2012

Onion Rings, a “beyond restaurant-quality” recipe

These may be the best O-rings you’ll ever have.

All the work can be done a day or two ahead!  The coating will work great on just about anything.  I’m allergic to shrimp, but wifey said that this process makes the best fried shrimp she has ever had.

Sweet walla wallas

There are two things that MUST be done to get good results.  First cut the rings, separate them, and SOAK them in cool water for at least an hour.  Soak them for 24 hours for best results.  This allows the sulfur (sulfenic acid) to rinse out and is CRUCIAL to good, sweet onion flavor.

How to avoid the “onion tears”

Second, coat the rings at least an hour before frying them.  This allows the buttermilk to seep into the dry ingredients — otherwise dry flour will fall off into your expensive oil and ruin it quickly — and the food will be better if done correctly as well.

It’s good to have the garlic and spices in the buttermilk away from the heat so as to not burn and become bitter.

Finally, use olive oil for good health.

It’s Biblical.  God would not authorize olive oil if it would hurt you.   Conversely, He forbade anyone to eat the animal fat from the sacrifices in the Torah because He knows that is bad for you. (Lev. 4: 19)


1 or 2 very large sweet onions – 5 inches in diameter –  1 pound or more in weight each

3 Cups all-purpose white flour

1 Cup corn meal — Mexican corn MASA is best since so finely ground (masa harina de maiz)

2 Cups buttermilk

2 teaspoons salt

1 Tbs garlic (granulated) powder

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon salt

enough high quality virgin olive oil for frying — at 1 inch deep or better


Peel the onion.  Slice onion into rings that are 3/4 inch thick.  Separate the rings in each slice.  Soak the rings in cool water for an hour to a day to remove the sulfenic acid that will make the onions bitter.

Put 2 Cups buttermilk in a small bowl.  Add garlic, pepper, salt, and cumin.  Mix and let sit.  The garlic adds flavor that will enhance the sweet onion flavor.

Mix the flour and corn meal (masa harina de maiz really is the best) in a mid sized bowl with 1 teaspoon salt.

Wet one ring at a time in the seasoned milk, then dredge in flour mixture.  Knock off extra flour back into bowl.  Go back to the milk and let extra drip off or shake a bit.  Place back into flour and cover and press the ring lightly with flour to coat.  Shake off extra flour.  Place the ring in the top corner of a cookie sheet.  Repeat and lay successive rings overlapping each other like a stack of coins that has been tipped over.

Refrigerate the rings for at least an hour so that the milk will seep into the flour and very little of the dry flour is evident. Cover with wrap if to be more than an hour or two wait.

Take the food out of the fridge an hour before cooking it so that you will not chill the oil and make the food oil-soggy.

Heat oil to 340 degrees or so.  (Low quality olive oil will smoke at 350 degrees.  High quality will smoke at 390 or so.

Place the rings in the oil only when it is HOT — that way the heat cooks a shell on the outside to keep excess oil OUT of the food.  The temperature will drop significantly when the food goes into the oil, so keep the heat going.

After about three minutes, turn over the rings with tongs.  May be done in 2-3 more minutes.  Place on paper towels to absorb excess oil and serve promptly.

Enjoy —  and thank the Lord for all good things.

When the oil cools, use a funnel to put back into the original container and mark on it with a Sharpie pen — used on DATE.  Particles will settle and you’ll discard the last bit when reusing the oil.  I put mine in the  fridge and reheat within a month or discard.


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