Learn how to make homemade, beer battered onion straws – sometimes called onion strings – featuring sweet, Vidalia onions and a zesty dipping sauce. This smaller batch recipe is super easy and makes just enough, making it perfect for your next at-home date night. Makes 4 servings.
Why I love these onion straws
Obviously, we’re staying home a lot these days, and I’m really missing going out to eat and the occasional night off from cooking.
We’re still getting takeout pretty regularly, which was something we didn’t really do before, but there are just some things that are best when they’re served hot and fresh, without a car ride to let them cool down.
Crispy, fried foods definitely fall into that category. So, even though I don’t normally fry things at home, I decided to make my own crispy fried onions for our last date night dinner, and they definitely took our dinner from “the usual” to something special.
Here’s what you’ll need to make them
Ingredients note: If you don’t want to use beer for this recipe, you can definitely use non-alcoholic beer or carbonated water. I don’t recommend sodas like ginger beer or root beer because of the added sugar, but it’s totally your call and will taste great.
Why I chose Vidalia onions
Did you know that Vidalia onions are hand planted and harvested in only 20 counties in Georgia?
They are hands down my favorite onion, so I use them every chance I get. Thankfully, their timing couldn’t be better. Vidalia onion season just started and lasts through August.
Vidalia onions are naturally sweet and mild, making them the perfect option for just about any recipe. Plus, they don’t need to be soaked beforehand, so they also saved me a little bit of prep time.
How to make crispy onion strings
Make the dipping sauce. I always start by making this ahead of time, so we can enjoy our fried onions while they’re still fresh. Simply stir the dipping sauce ingredients together and mix until smooth.
If you want to take this dip to the next level, try using homemade mayonnaise instead of store bought.
Set the onions aside until you’re ready to fry. I like to cover mine with a big bowl or container to keep my eyes from watering.
Make the batter. In a big mixing bowl, whisk the beer, egg, flour, baking powder and salt together until smooth. The add about 1/3 of the sliced onions to the bowl.
Deep fry. In a large pot, heat canola oil (or any oil with a high smoke point) to 375˚F. Transfer the first batch of onions to the hot oil and fry until crispy.
Carefully remove the fried onions and transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towel. Repeat the process until all the onions are fried.
Make ahead tip: If you want to make these in advance, I recommend reheating them in the oven. Simply line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or aluminum foil) and bake them at 400˚F for about 5 minutes.
FAQs and tips for making the best homemade onion straws
Typically, onion rings are made by soaking the onions in a liquid of some sort – normally buttermilk, but what’s great about this recipe is that there’s no need to soak the onions.
I recommend using Vidalia onions to make the best onion rings. If you can’t find Vidalias, another sweet onion would work best. Yellow or white onions can also be used, but you won’t get that mild, sweet flavor.
There are two reasons batter might fall off: runny batter or oil temperature. Make sure your oil is at least 350˚F, but ideally 375˚F.
If that’s correct and the batter still isn’t holding, try adding additional tablespoon or two of flour before trying again.
These would go great with:
- Rose sangria or brandy old fashioned
- Grilled flank steak
- Spiced lamb burgers
- Pecan crusted salmon
- Chicken cobb salad with homemade ranch dressing
More appetizers you’ll love:
Beer Battered Onion StrawsPrint Recipe Pin Recipe Rate Recipe
For the onion straws:
- 1 large Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 6 ounces beer, 1/2 can
- 1 large egg
- 6 – 8 cups Canola oil, for frying
For the dipping sauce:
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
- 1 pinch coarse salt
For the onion straws:
- Mix beer, egg, flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth.
- In a Dutch oven or large stockpot, heat canola oil to 375˚F.
- Working in batches, dip sliced onions into beer batter until nicely coated. Transfer to hot oil and fry onions until crispy and brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet or plate lined with paper towels.
- Repeat until all onions have been fried.
For the dipping sauce:
- In a medium bowl, mix ingredients until smooth. Adjust seasoning, to taste.
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