I loooove crispy fried onions and fried shallots! Anything fried, really. (::ahem:: kiyaFRIES.) These puppies are amazing on vermicelli bowls, burgers or hot dogs, soups, and of course green bean casserole! They add a little crispy richness and flavor to everything they touch. And, because these are made with no batter, they’re pretty easy to make!
Why It Works:
So, no batter, just flour, huh? You’re probably wondering how the heck that works! Well, it works because flour sticks to wet surfaces like gangbusters! And, drying the onion or shallot rings out in the fridge once they’re dredged solidifies the bond. Anyone who’s ever tried to clean an old dried bowl used for mixing dough knows that its like cement! It’s simple, and it sticks. I use the same technique for my Cornmeal Onion Rings!
Use a heavy bottomed pan (I like cast iron) for frying because it holds and distributes heat evenly. Thin pans are more susceptible to hot spots, meaning one area of your food could burn.
Speaking of burning, keep an eye on the oil’s temperature. Use a thermometer for frying (an infrared thermometer is my go-to) and check the oil temperature often, adjusting the heat as needed. Always allow the oil to return to the correct temperature between frying batches.
Don’t Be Salty
Actually, do be salty! Or don’t– it’s up to you actually! You can choose to salt your fried shallots or onions after frying, but be warned that salt granules, even sea salt, tend to be too big to stick to fried surfaces. That’s why I like to use superfine salt for fried onions and shallots, popcorn, and french fries! Here’s how to make superfine salt at home:
Add 1 cup of kosher salt to a food processor. Put on the food processor lid, and drape a large, dampened kitchen towel over the top of the machine (this will keep salt dust from getting everywhere.) Process the salt for about 1 minute, until its texture is fine and dusty. Let the dust settle for a minute or two before opening the lid unless you want a lung full of salt! Transfer to an airtight container and store.
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Crispy Fried Onions + Fried Shallots Recipe
Crispy Shallots or Onions
- shallots or onions
- canola oil or other high smoke point oil
- super fine salt optional
- Slice shallots or onions ⅛” thick and separate the rings. Transfer the slices to a sieve or colander and rinse under cool water to wet the entire surface area of each ring. Shake off the excess water well, then toss the rings in the flour to coat.
- Arrange the rings on a wire rack, (they can stack offset, just keep them as separated as possible to air can circulate) and refrigerate 15-30 mins. (Longer is best, but if you’re short on time, 15 minutes will work just fine!)
- Heat ½” of oil in a cast iron or heavy bottomed pan to 365F and line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels for draining. When the oil is hot, fry the onion or shallot slices in batches. Fry 2-4 minutes for shallots and 4-6 minutes for onions, stirring occasionally. Use a heat-proof spider or slotted utensil to scoop the slices, then transfer to the prepared paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with superfine salt, and enjoy!