onion strings and dipping sauce in a vintage pie plate
This recipe has been sponsored by Vidalia® onions. As always, all opinions, ideas and recipes are my own.

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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.

On our date night dinner menu: grilled steaks with chimichurri sauce, kale caesar salad and our favorite jam cocktails.

onion straws in a vintage pie plate

Here’s what you’ll need to make them

Equipment

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.

vidalia onions

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.

Slice the onions. Start by slicing the onions super thin. I used a mandolin to do this, but you can also use a spiralizer, or do it by hand with a sharp knife and cutting board.

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.

extra thin, beer battered onion rings served in a pie plate lined with parchment paper

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

Should you soak onions before frying?

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.

How do you make thin onion strings?

You can make thin onion strings by using a mandolin or spiralizer to cut your onions. You can also cut them very thin with a sharp knife and cutting board.

What kind of onion is best for onion rings?

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.

How do you keep batter from falling off?

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.

closeup of onion straw being dipped in onion ring sauce

These would go great with:

More appetizers you’ll love:

crispy fried onions with dipping sauce
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Beer Battered Onion Straws

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 you next at home date night. #ad

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale

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
  • 68 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

Instructions

For the onion straws:

  1. Mix beer, egg, flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth.
  2. In a Dutch oven or large stockpot, heat canola oil to 375˚F.
  3. 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.
  4. Repeat until all onions have been fried.

For the dipping sauce:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix ingredients until smooth. Adjust seasoning, to taste.

Last Updated on November 12, 2021 by Melissa Belanger

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One Comment

  1. Omg these are melt in your mouth amazing! By far better than any other onion rings I’ve had in my life! We are dairy free, egg free and peanut free. So I subbed 1/4 tsp of baking soda for the egg and a little less beer and it turned out so airy and melted in my mouth! Perfect with a burger or pulled pork sandwiches!