It's Thursday and time for the fourth installment of Burger Bash Week! I know you're hungry and it is really a cruel form of torture to make you wait five days for the full recipe, so I'm giving you something sweet, fried, and wonderful to snack on while we wait for the burgers to come off the grill.
That's right, we are making onion rings!
Yes, these burgers do involve a lot of onions, is that a problem? Okay, good, I don't think so either.
We begin by slicing up some sweet onions. I always end up crying at this part. Onion vapors are menacing.
Isn't it cool how they make perfect rings without any manipulation? It's like they were meant to be dredged, fried, and turned into little savory donuts.
The onions are dredged in a simple tempura batter that has been spiked with a bit of garlic powder. Tempura batters are light and airy, and the perfect coating for our sweet, tender onions.
I hate frying, like, I really, really hate it. It's messy and I always, always burn myself. However, I did discover that these onion rings can be fried in a fairly shallow amount of oil which cuts down on both the mess and the burns. I used my deep dutch oven and filled it about 3 inches full of oil.
Go ahead, you know you want one...and if you are anything like me you will not be able to wait until they cool, so you'll burn your mouth and get mad before going back for more.
Now you may be wondering what exactly onion rings add to a burger. Are they really necessary? Well, no... But this burger isn't about necessity, it's about deliciousness, and a fried component always helps in the flavor department. These onion rings provide a crispy, potato-chip like element which add both richness and texture to our burger.
Just look at them. Crisp, sweet, and perfectly seasoned. I can promise you that the majority of these will never make it on your burgers, but that's okay, taste-testing is one of a chef's best perks. Enjoy!
Tempura Battered Onion Rings
recipe adapted slightly from Joy the Baker / makes enough for 4 burgers + snacking
- 2 medium sweet onions, peeled and sliced into rings
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoons salt + extra for sprinkling
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces sparkling water
- canola oil
Line a baking sheet with newspaper or paper towels and place a cooling rack on top.
Fill a dutch oven with canola oil, until it is about 3 inches deep. Fit with a thermometer and place over medium high heat. Heat the oil to 360 degrees.
In a large bowl, whisk to combine flour, cornstarch, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Whisk in sparkling water until a pancake-like batter is formed.
Add the sliced onions and toss with tongs to fully coat the rings in the batter.
When the oil has reached 360 degrees, add several onion rings. You will probably have to do them in about four batches depending upon the size of your dutch oven. The oil temperature will drop as soon as you add the onions so increase the heat until it returns to 360 degrees. Make sure that your oil is at 360 before adding each new batch of onion rings. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, until they are deep golden.
Use tongs to remove the rings from the oil and place on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and allow to cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!