While we do make efforts to eat on the healthy side there are times that you just need a break and a nice deep fried food. When we’re having one of those days Fried Chicken is Bunneh’s favorite go to food, but for the boys there is nothing like onion rings. Soo…a few days ago we were having a cook out and I needed a side. I made the executive decision to try a new batter idea for onion rings and I’m told it was a complete success. I have to agree. 🙂 This made a very light batter, which was just thick enough to stick to the rings and turn all golden brown and delicious and the onion cooked through so it never just slithered out of the batter. All in all…lovely… I’m still pretty sure we shouldn’t eat them every day, but I’d certainly love to try!
There is a little science and a few interesting ingredients in this recipe. First it calls for rice flour which is a basis for a classic Japanese Tempura. The reason for this is to add bulk and delicate flavor but not to add to the development of gluten which can make for a tough batter and mouth feel. It also has Ultra Gel in it. The reason for the Ultra Gel is because it makes the batter STICK to the rings. There is nothing worse, when it comes to onion rings, than biting in and having the onion slither out of the casing! The pancake batter adds a little leavening to the mix, so you get some poof in the batter, which is just plain yummy! And peanut oil is a good choice as a cooking oil as it has a little higher smoke point, and it doesn’t tend to hold fishy or other unpleasant flavors or odors.
Crispy Sweet Onion Rings
1 medium onion (I prefer Valida or sweet white onions which are bigger around than they all tall)
1 cup rice flour
1/2 cup pancake batter
1 tsp Ultra Gel
1 bottle 5 calorie Apple Beer (cold is better)
(For those who haven’t tried Apple Beer it is a lovely non alcoholic fizzy drink similar to root beer, but with a light apple taste and a hint of sweet and bitter. We love it for drinking, but it also made a killer ingredient)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Slice onion into 1/4-1/2 inch rings and soak in cold water. I pull out the smallest rings and put them into a small ziploc to be used in other recipes. In a heavy pan, cast iron rocks, place two inches of peanut oil and heat to 375. While oil is heating combine all dry ingredients in a medium bowl and add apple beer until desired thickness is reached. If you want something like tempura add more liquid, thicker batter will cling a bit better and is, in my opinion perfect for onion rings. Dip each ring and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side in the oil until golden brown. The batter will puff slightly from the leavening in the pancake mix and takes on a great mild sweetness from the apple beer. When cooked through remove from the oil and place on a draining rack. I use a cookie sheet with a cooling rack on top covered with paper towels. Serve warm with dipping sauce or plain!