Onion rings are one of our favorite crispy sides—they're delicious alongside sandwiches, burgers and fried seafood. And they're so easy to make! We love to eat them on their own, or use superthin crisps as a crunchy burger topping. Whether you're looking for a savory barbecue side, a salty late-night snack or a crowd-pleasing Super Bowl appetizer, these recipes are fantastic anytime of year. Here, our best recipes for onion rings.
There are all sorts of tricks for making deep-fry batters both delicate and crisp. Sometimes, recipes call for beating in beer or club soda (the little air bubbles lighten the mixture), or adding vodka (alcohol boils off more quickly than water, enhancing a batter's texture). For these onion rings, Richard Blais uses both strategies and amplifies their effect by aerating the batter in a siphon. The results are some of the laciest, crunchiest onion rings you'll ever taste. This batter is equally good on all kinds of fried foods, like chicken, pork cutlets, fish and other vegetables.
"There's nothing better than a simple tempura of a primo vegetable," states Peter Hoffman. For this sensational version, he coats thick onion rings in an ultralight batter and quickly fries them. Hoffman says that any vegetable that slices nicely, like delicata squash, fennel or zucchini, would be great here, as long as it "takes to the batter"--meaning the batter stays on.
These delectable, crunchy onion rings are Polo Dobkin's favorite late-night snack. His staff at Dressler devours them too. "We tend to feed a lot of people after hours," he says. To allow room for the light batter on the thick rings to puff as it cooks, use at least 3 inches of oil in the pan.