It’s National Onion Ring Day and all over America restaurants and fast food joints are serving up this crunchy fried treat.
The history of this mostly American invention can be traced back to the 1920’s. There are reports of them appearing before that, but not too often. Unlike the French fry, there is no dispute over the invention of this delicious, golden-fried food.
The automation of the commercial food industry and the strides in freezing technologies that were invented after World War II made it possible to make onion rings available on a large scale. Along with French fries, they were mass produced and marketed to the budding fast food industry.
Typically onions are soaked in milk or buttermilk, then coated with seasoned flour and fried. The Spouse loves onion rings and so do I, so I set out to find a suitable vegan version of this mouthwatering, irresistible dish.
I discovered in my research that you can mix soy milk (or other non-dairy milk) with vinegar and make a decent version of “butter” milk. So I tried this method and it worked.
After the onions are soaked, they get coated in gluten free flour seasoned with salt, pepper, and a little paprika, then dropped in a vat of hot oil and fried until crispy and golden brown. The internet is full of the baked vegan version of these onion rings. However, I love fried food and set out to make these simple, crunchy fried onions you can share with friends and family.
- 2 cups soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
- 1 onion, sliced into rings
- 1 1/2 cups gluten free flour
- 1/2 cup oat flour
- 3 tbsp xantham gum
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- Add the raw apple cider vinegar to the soy milk. Let sit for about ten minutes. The soy milk will start to curdle. This is what it is supposed to do. Just mix it up then add the onions.
- Let the onions soak in the milk for 45 minutes. Mix them around every once in a while.
- While the rings are soaking, mix the spices and flours together. Set aside.
- Once the onion rings are finished soaking, drain them and coat them in the flour mixture. Lay them out on a cookie sheet and freeze them for several hours before cooking.
- Heat up a heavy bottomed sauce pot filled with frying oil to 375 degrees. You can also use a counter top deep fryer.
- Drop the onion rings into the oil. Gently turn them over while cooking so they fry evenly. Be really careful with the hot oil. Cook until golden brown.
- Remove from the oil and drain on a cookie sheet lined with paper towel.
- Serve with ketchup, mayo, barbecue sauce, cilantro chutney, or whatever condiment you prefer.