A friend had a small fryer sitting around and thought I might like to have it. She thought right.

Years ago, my roommates and I had a fryer. It was a furious month of frying everything we could think of; from broccoli to bacon-wrapped hot-dogs, everything went in that we could think of. I was determined to be a little more responsible with my new fryer. Full disclosure: I did fry asparagus first. It was awesome.

I had a plan for some fried chicken but decided to ease into it with some onion rings. I honestly have no idea where I came up with the idea, possibly from the potato chip chicken recipe, but I thought breading onion rings with tortilla chip crumbs would be cool. There's a seasoning called Tajin that's available in many Mexican markets. It consists of chili powder, dehydrated lime juice, and salt. If you can't find it you can make your own substitute with chili powder, lime zest, and salt. It gives the tortilla chip onion ring a really nice zesty flavor.

For a second flavor, I was thinking something Japanese-inspired. I'd thought of panko but that had been done. There are some fantastic edamame crackers at Trader Joe's I love to snack on that I felt would make a very solid base. I added some dried shiitake mushrooms and pulverized them in a food processor. Just make sure the mushrooms are completely dried or they will stick to the blades and stop the pulverizing. I had to lay the shiitakes I had out on a baking sheet to dry them completely in the oven at 150º.

I soaked the onion rings in beer. It adds another dimension to the flavor and what little alcohol there is cooks off in the frying. My best tip for frying: do it outside. It saves the house from smelling like a fryer and it makes a little bit of an oily mess.

I made these for a BBQ and, honestly, I can't tell you which flavor was the most preferred since all of the onion rings were gone in the first 15 minutes.

Do your own taste test and let me know how it works out.

Enjoy.

Onion Rings

  • Prep Time: 45m
  • Cook Time: 15m
  • Total Time: 1h

What's in it:

  • 4 large onions
  • 4 c all-purpose flour
  • 24 oz of beer (or soda water)
  • 2 c pulverized edemame crackers
  • 1 c pulverized dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 c sesame seeds
  • 3 c pulverized tortilla chips
  • 1/4 c Tajin seasoning

How to make it:

  1. Cut onions to about a quarter-inch thick slices. Pull apart the rings and set small inner rings aside for another use. Put slices in a bowl and cover with beer (or soda water, if you prefer). Let soak while other ingredients are prepared.
  2. In a shallow bowl, mix edamame crackers, shiitake mushrooms and the sesame seeds together. In another shallow bowl mix the tortilla chips and Tajin seasoning. These are your two types of breading. Fill a third shallow bowl with flour. Pour liquid from soaking onions into a bowl for dipping.
  3. One at a time, dip onion ring into the liquid, then dip into flour bowl to cover with flour. Then dip quickly back in liquid and then into one of the breading bowls. Make sure the breading gets all over. Place on a cookie sheet. Repeat with each breading until they are all coated. Refrigerate for at least 30 min. to set.
  4. Heat fryer or skillet with an inch of oil to 365º F. Fry onion rings, several at a time, until they are golden brown and place on layers of paper towels to drain. Salt as each batch comes out while they are fresh out of the oil.