On my daily trip to the market the other day, I came across these beautiful bags of Vidalia onions. Instantly, the thought of super crispy Vidalia Onion Rings came to mind. Having just made a batch of my Fried Green Tomatoes, I thought I could take a spin on that recipe to create these fabulous treats. Honestly, my Hubby ate the entire batch in one sitting.
WHAT ARE VIDALIA ONIONS
Did you know that Vidalia onions come from Vidalia, Georgia? In fact, they were named the official state vegetable of Georgia in the early 90’s. They play a huge role in southern cuisine. Especially, during the summertime. The flavor is quite mild, and oh so sweet. One can enjoy Vidalia onions raw, or cooked.
Vidalia Onion Season
So, to answer the question as to why you may be seeing bags, and bags of Vidalia onions at your local market. It’s the season. The Vidalia onion season runs from April to August. Be sure to catch them at their freshest during these months.
How to Store Vidalia Onions
Given their high water content, Vidalia onions tend to have a shorter shelf life than most other onions. Unlike other onions, to extend the life, it is recommended to to store them, individually wrapped with paper towels, in the crisper drawer of the fridge.
VIDALIA ONIONS VS. YELLOW ONIONS
Vidalia onions are high in sugar, and low in sulfur. In fact, Vidalia onions have more than two times the sugar content of other types of onions. They are great for caramelizing. Unlike a lot of onions, Vidalia onions can easily be enjoyed in a raw state. Yellow onions are also quite versatile and are the most popular onion sold in America.
VIDALIA ONION SUBSTITUTES
Well, if you were asking anyone in the state of Georgia about a perfect substitute for Vidalia onions, you would more than likely not get a response. Did you know that there is an actual Vidalia Onion committee in Georgia? For reals! The famous quote from this committee speaks volumes, “All Vidalias are sweet onions, but not all sweet onions are Vidalias.”
BEST ONIONS FOR ONION RINGS
If Vidalia onions are unavailable, or out of season, consider using any of these types in your next batch of onion rings:
- Maui onions
- Walla Walla onions
- White onions
Alternatively, one should avoid the following onion varieties. As most are not suitable in flavor, or style:
- Red onions
- Green onions
- Shallots (unless as a crispy topping for a dish like my Homemade Green Bean Casserole)
HOW TO MAKE THE MOST PERFECT ONION RINGS (EVERY SINGLE TIME)
First, see above for the best variety of onions for use in making onion rings. Yes, I am sure we can all agree that we all want those restaurant-style onion rings that are super crispy in texture, without the sogginess. How can we do this? Here are a few tips:
- use cold buttermilk
- add cornstarch or rice flour to the flour mixture for extra crispiness
- ensure the oil temperature is at least between 350° and 375° (use a thermometer, if needed)
- do NOT crowd the pan when frying
- if you own a cast iron pan, use it
Although air-fryer onion rings or baked onion rings, will not necessarily provide the same texture/taste, they are healthier alternatives to deep frying.
How to cut onions for onion rings
This is really a matter of preference. I have found that cutting the onion in 1/4″ to 1/2″ slices is best.
Seasoned, or unseasoned batter. It’s really up to you. My recipe is a simple buttermilk/flour mixture without eggs. Consider the following coating alternatives:
- Beer batter
- Spicy batter
- Milk batter
- Basic Unseasoned Batter
- Panko batter
DIPPING SAUCE FOR ONION RINGS
Although these crispy Vidalia Onion Rings are perfect on their own, we all do fancy a dipping sauce. Here are just a few amazing choices:
- Blooming onion sauce (see recipe below)
- Ranch dressing
- Horseradish sauce
- Sriracha mayo
VIDALIA ONION RINGS
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 36 onion rings 1x
Want the most perfect restaurant-style onion rings at home? This recipe for Vidalia Onion Rings will give you just that. They will turn out super crispy and crunchy, every single time.
- 3 large Vidalia onions
- 1 1/2 C buttermilk
- 2 to 3 TBLS Sriracha
- 2 C flour
- 1/2 C rice flour or cornstarch
- 1 1/2 TBLS kosher salt
- 1 TBLS black pepper
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- oil for frying
FOR THE DIPPING SAUCE:
- 3/4 C mayo
- 2 TBLS ketchup
- 2 to 4 TBLS horseradish
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp paprika
- Start heating oil in a deep cast iron pan.
- Cut the onions into 1/4″ to 1/2″ slices.
- In a bowl, mix together the buttermilk and Sriracha. (Use more/less Sriracha depending on your liking).
- Place onions in buttermilk mixture. Toss to separate and coat.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, rice flour, kosher salt, black pepper, paprika and garlic powder.
- Coat the onion rings with the flour mixture. Double dipping is encouraged.
- Once the oil is to temperature (350° to 375°), fry onion rings in batches until they are browned and crispy on both sides. This should take only a few minutes.
- While the onion rings are frying, combine all of the ingredients for the dipping sauce. Adjust the horseradish to your liking.
- Lay the finished onion rings on paper towels or cooling rack.
- Salt right out of the fry.
- Serve immediately with the dipping sauce.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Serving Size: 6 onion rings
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