Easy Onion Strings are flash fried ultra thin slices of onion and they are dangerously easy to make!
I have an ongoing love affair with onions strings because they’re easy and dependable. And freaking delicious. As long as you slice your onions thinly, dust them with a little seasoned flour, and get your oil nice and hot, they’ll come through for you time and again. That’s a lovely and rare thing in the kitchen where so many things can and do go wrong, so many things are complicated beyond comprehension, and too many things are a disappointment in the end. Onion strings will never disappoint.
Sweet Vidalia onions happen to be in season so I used them, but you can use any type of onion, red, white, yellow, they’ll all turn out great. All onions are naturally sweet when you cook them, so I like to serve something tangy alongside to dip them in, it balances out the greasy (and I mean that in the best possible way) sweetness. Horseradish ketchup fills the bill.
The onions are cut into 1/8 inch slices, tossed in some seasoned flour, and then fried. They come out in a sort of tangled mess, which just gives you license to shovel them into your mouth — there’s no polite way to do it, even if you try to grab just one ring, seventeen more will cling onto it for dear life. Just go with it.
For regular onion rings, a good knife is fine, but for strings they need to be sliced thinner than you can accomplish on your own. I use my mandolin slicer, it can slice an onion into perfectly even 1/8″ thin slices in just a minute. It’s one tool that I think a lit of people don’t have, but is well worth getting, and it’s not very expensive. I use it not only for onion strings, but for slicing potatoes for chips, fries, and gratins. I do peppers and cucumbers for salads. You can do paper thin beets and radishes, too.
- 1 Vidalia onion
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- vegetable oil for frying
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1 tsp cream style horseradish
- Pour at least 4 inches of oil into a medium sized pot. Heat it over medium heat until it reaches about 350F
- Slice the very top off the onion and peel just the outer layer of skin, leaving the root end intact. Slice it on the 1/8 inch setting of a mandolin slicer. Gently separate the slices into individual rings.
- Whisk the flour and the salt together in a bowl. Working in batches, toss the onions into the flour and coat completely. Shake off excess and drop into the hot oil. If you are not using a thermometer, drop in a test onion...if the oil is at the correct temperature, the onion should fry to a golden crispiness in about two minutes. If it browns immediately, the oil is too hot. If it doesn't turn golden in two minutes, it needs to be hotter. Remove the onions to a paper towel while you do the rest.
- Serve right away, with horseradish ketchup on the side.
- To make the ketchup, blend the two ingredients together.
If you have any left, pile them on top of a burger!