Crispy Onion Straws are golden and crunchy on the outside with tender thin strips of sweet onion inside! The perfect topping for your favorite burgers, salads, or casserole dishes!
If given the choice of French Fries or Onion Rings…I’ll pick onion rings every time! Oh how I love them!
Our favorite local restaurant makes the most amazing “blooming onion” and without fail, we order it as our appetizer every time. Then we proceed to “pig out” on it until we are too full to eat our main course.
For years I’ve wanted to make that “blooming onion”, or a version of thinly sliced “homemade onion rings”…but it seemed so intimidating! Imagine my surprise when I realized that they’re actually really easy to make in small batches at home!
What you’ll need to make Extra Crispy Onion Straws
- 2 large onions – I recommend white onions or sweet vildalia onions for the best results.
- 2 Cups buttermilk
- 2 Cups All-purpose flour
- ½ Tablespoons salt
- ½ Tablespoon all-purpose seasoning salt (I like the Blackstone brand or Lawry’s)
- Black Pepper to taste – for me it’s about ½ teaspoon)
- Sprinkle of Cayenne Pepper, Garlic Powder, or Onion Powder – all optional and depends on personal taste.
- Canola Oil or Vegetable Oil for frying – I used vegetable but you can use either with great results.
How To Make Onion Straws
The onions need to soak in the buttermilk for at least an hour.
Begin by peeling the onions and slicing them, with a sharp knife, very thinly.
TIP: You can use a mandolin slicer if you own one…I don’t. I’m a fan of my finger tips!
Place thinly sliced onions in a large shallow bowl.
Pour 2 cups of buttermilk over the top of the sliced onions. Press the onions down so they are submerged as much as possible. Some will pop-up…that’s okay! Let them soak at room temperature for at least an hour.
If necessary stir them around a little bit halfway through the soaking process.
How to Make Flour Mixture for Crispy Onion Strings
In a bowl combine 2 cups of all-purpose flour, salt, season salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper (optional) and garlic or onion powder if desired.
Mix all your dry ingredients and set aside.
Preparing to Fry Homemade Onion Straws
Pour 1 to 2 quarts frying oil into a large heavy pot, dutch oven, or deep fryer. Heat to 375°F degrees, or until a pinch of flour sizzles when sprinkled over the pot.
TIP: I recommend using a digital, or candy thermometer, to make sure you have reached the perfect frying temperature.
Prepare a place to put your fried onion rings. I like to line a plate with paper towels.
TIP: I also place a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. This way I can move them to the wire rack and keep them warm in the oven while I continue frying.
Frying Sliced Onions
Using tongs, remove a handful of onions from the buttermilk. Immediately dunk into the flour mixture.
Using a fork coat the onions in the flour mixture.
Shake them over the bowl to remove any excess flour. You can tap them up against the inside of the bowl too to help shake off that extra flour if necessary.
Carefully, very carefully, using silicone covered tongs, place the onions in the hot oil. Gently fiddle with them a bit to break them up so they don’t clump together.
WATCH THEM! They will be ready to remove from the hot oil in just a few minutes. It doesn’t take long to fry them up golden brown.
When they are crispy and golden brown, remove from the oil with a slotted spoon, spider strainer, or another set of tongs. Carefully allow any excess oil to drip back into the dutch oven.
Place fried onion straws on the paper towel lined plate and then transfer them to baking sheet with the wire rack.
TIP: You can keep them warm by placing the rack in a warm oven until you are done frying the remaining onion rings.
Repeat frying process with remaining onion slices until all of them have been fried.
Serving Fried Onion Straws
Crispy Onion Straws or Crispy Onion Strings, you say Po-ta-to and I say Po-tat-o, are the perfect easy appetizer, hot dog topping, or a great topping for your favorite grilled burger! I love them on my Instant Pot Braised Beef Short Rib Sandwich!
They are great dunked in dipping sauces! We love to dip them in Ranch Dressing, BBQ Sauce, or our State Favorite…Fry Sauce!
Frequently Asked Questions about Crispy Onion Straws
- How do you get the coating to stick to onion straws? Soaking them in buttermilk creates a great coating when the sliced onions are dredge in the flour. There will always be a bit of the crunchy bits that fall off, but for the most part this creates the perfect batter.
- Why are my onion rings not crispy? There are a few reasons this is happening. If your onions are sliced too thick the moisture from the onions will seep out into the crispy batter making them soggy. Another has to do with oil temperature. It’s important to use a digital thermometer when frying to maintain the suggest temps.
- Can I make these in the Air Fryer? I don’t recommend it. This is a very wet batter that doesn’t do well in an air fryer. You would want a much dryer coating for an air fryer.
- Why do some onion ring recipes call for the onion slices to be soaked in water first? Soak the onion slices in cold water to dilute the sulfur content, turning them sweet and mild. Soaking them in the buttermilk helps with this as well.
- What type of onions do you recommend for onion straws? I recommend White onions, Vildalia Onions, or even Yellow Onions. All work well and create a nice sweet onion ring.
Other Favorite Appetizers and Side Dishes
- Grilled Stuff Jalapeno Peppers
- Grilled Spiced Citrus Wings
- Brown Sugar Bacon Smokies
- Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels
- Loaded Cheesy Queso Dip
- Chef John’s French Fries from Allrecipes.com
Thanks for stopping by and visiting today! If you make this recipe…be sure to snap a photo and tag me at #norinesnest on Instagram!
- 2 large onions
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ scant Tablespoon salt
- ½ Tablespoon Season Salt
- Black pepper to taste
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- Canola oil or vegetable oil for frying
- Peel onions and slice very thin. Separate the onion slices and place them in a large shallow bowl. Pour buttermilk over the top. Press onion slices down so they're submerged as much as possible. Soak at room temperature for at least an hour. Stir them around half way through the soaking process.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, seasoning salt, black pepper, and cayenne. You can also add a hefty pinch of garlic and onion powder if desired.
- Pour 1 to quarts of oil in a large dutch oven or pot. Heat to 375°F, or until a pinch of flour sizzles when sprinkled over the pot.
- Using tongs, remove a handful of onions from the buttermilk. Immediately dunk into the flour mixture. Coat the onions in the flour mixture, and tap to remove any excess flour.
- Carefully release the onions in the hot oil. With a spoon, fiddle with them a bit just to break them up. Watch them! They cook quickly and will be ready to remove in no time.
- When they are golden brown, remove from the oil and place on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Repeat with remaining onion slices and serve immediately while hot.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
ThermoPro TP03 Digital Meat Thermometer for Cooking Kitchen Food Candy Instant Read Thermometer with Backlight and Magnet for Oil Deep Fry BBQ Grill Smoker Thermometer
Presto 05420 FryDaddy Electric Deep Fryer,Black
Sandwich Wrap Paper, Eusoar 200 Sheets 11" x 10" Baking Parchment Dry Wax Deli Paper, Grease Resistant Burger Food Basket Liner for Burrito Omelette Patties Taco, Restaurants, Churches, BBQ, Party
New Star Foodservice 44164 Fast Food Baskets, 9 1/4-Inch x 6-Inch Oval, Set of 12, Red
Amazon Basics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven, 6-Quart, Blue
Hiware Extra Large Spider Strainer Skimmer Spoon for Frying and Cooking - Set of 3 Stainless Steel Wire Pasta Strainer with Long Handle, Professional Kitchen Skimmer Ladle - 13.8", 15" & 16.4"
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 490Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 2430mgCarbohydrates: 81gFiber: 4gSugar: 12gProtein: 15g