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Had the juicest fattest onion rings

at ..... of all places.. Red Robins Edmonton. So now I wanna see if I can make my own. Where does one get onions that large. All the ones I ever see are the regular ones or even the red onions. The menu said they were sweet yellow onions. Does anyone have a really good onion ring batter. Not just dusting them in flour.

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  1. I would suggest Costco for videlia or other sweet onions. There is one kitty corner from the north Edmonton Red Robins. You might try posting this question on the chains board. Someone might have one that comes close to Red Robins.


    1. I recall a segment from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on FoodTV: Place was known for onion rings. They used large quantities, and they used a multi-day process for preparing then slicing the onion rings so they removed some of the moisture. The theory was that when the onions were cooked in the intense heat of the oil, there would be less steaming to separate the onion from the coating or breading. I must say I enjoy the crisp onion strings delicately crispy fried more than the big thick rings where the onion always stays pretty raw and slides thru and out from the batter.

      1. Here's the recipe from the Purple Cow in Iowa. My grandmother (a local professional cake decorator) used to make thousands of tiny royal icing purple cows to top their fountain drinks. As thanks, when they went out of business, they gave her their recipe for their famous onion rings.

        Purple Cow Onion Ring Batter

        2 eggs, beaten
        2 C flour
        1 t salt
        1 t sugar
        1 t baking powder
        3 T corn oil

        Add water to desired thickness. You don't want it to be very thick.

        Dip your onion rings and fry them up. Also great for other veggies and fish.

        4 Replies
        1. re: modthyrth

          Was this the Purple Cow originally in Coralville by the fruit market and later moved to North Liberty?

          1. re: puzzler

            Not sure, since I never saw the place (I only have the story and the hand-written recipe card). My grandma lived in Iowa City, so I wouldn't be surprised. But she died in the late 80s, so the original Purple Cow had to have closed before then. I lived in Coralville when I was in law school 98-00 and didn't hear about a current Purple Cow--did I miss a revival? I would have loved to see it.

          2. re: modthyrth

            so the little t's are teaspoons and the T is tablespoons? Does the batter coat the entire onion ring?

            1. re: sleepycat

              yep, little t=teaspoon big T=Tablespoon.

              I always coat the entire onion ring in bater. Never seen an onion ring done any other way, so didn't even think about it, really.

          3. My BIL insists on double-dipping thin rings. They are great and don't do the 'onion-ring slip." I'll get the recipe from him.

            4 Replies
            1. re: toodie jane

              off-topic, but toodie jane, did you ever see the recipe for sour cream pound cake that i promised you? http://www.chowhound.com/topics/464253

              on-topic, does letting batter dry a while on the onion ring help with slippage issue?

              1. re: alkapal

                Not really. And I assume you're talking about having the whole onion ring come out of the batter in one long hot strip when you bite into one? That happens because the steam from the onion during deep frying releases the onion from the batter on the inside. The best way to handle the problem is to work on your biting technique! '-)

                1. re: Caroline1

                  thanks. i got the idea from some recipe for fried chicken....

                  1. re: Caroline1

                    On that episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, the restaurant used a three-day process to rid the onions of excess moisture before breading and frying. They first peeled the onions, let them rest a day, and then cut or sliced them, and let them dry another day or two. The final step may have been letting them soak in some milk or buttermilk or something -- I don't quite remember. But the purpose was to dry them and rid them of excess moisture to reduce the steam when fried so the batter would hold on tightly.

              2. The very best and also the very easiest onion rings are so simple you won't believe they can be good. But they are. But you probably won't believe me.

                First cut the onions. Cut off both ends, peel, then cut stright down the middle. One time I didn't do it that way and getting the center cut to seperate was a battle royal! Next cut the halves to the thickness you prefer. I have a deep fat fryer, but frankly I prefer a deep saucepan with peanut oil for deep frying. Heat the oil until a ring dropped into it floats to the top. Yes, I'm ahead of myelf.

                With the onions cut up and the oil set to heat, take two soup plates, fill one with seasoned flour. Season as you like. I use salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a touch of chili powder. Fill the other bowl about half full of buttermilk OR evaporated milk. They both work just fine. The buttermilk gives a bit more tang.

                Dip the onion rings in the milk, then coat well with flour, dip in milk again, again in the flour, then into the hot oil. Fry to a rich golden color on both sides. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with a bit more salt. I use a salt mill set fine and do just a light dusting.

                Orrrr... If you're absolutely determined to make work out of this, then a tempura batter makes fabulous onion rings! Same pot of hot peanut oil. Same routine cutting the onion rings. For the batter,

                2/3 cup flour
                1/3 cup corn starch
                1 egg
                1 cup ICE water. Has to be really really cold.

                Put flour and corn starch in a bowl. Stir with chopsticks or a fork to blend. Make a well in the center and drop the egg in. Add the full cup of ice water all at once and mix lightly. Do NOT stir until lump free or you'll ruin it. Dip onion rings in batter, then into the pot they go! This batter will not brown the way the one above does, so light golden is fine or you'll have onion mush in the center.

                While you have the tempura batter ready, why not do some sliced sweet potatoes, egg plant, baby green onions, cucumber slices, banana slices, orange segments, apple rings, whatever your heart desires. They're all good! Oh. And maybe even a few shrimp? '-) Enjoy!

                3 Replies
                1. re: Caroline1

                  Do you have portions for the seasoned flour?

                  1. re: sleepycat

                    Not really. Sorry. But as a rule of thumb, I would suggest you overseason a bit, then do one onion ring and taste. You can always add a bit more flour if you've overdone it.

                2. Fried Onion Rings
                  Serves: 4

                  • 3 large yellow onions, peeled
                  • 1 cup flour
                  • ¼ cup cornmeal
                  • ¼ cup cornstarch
                  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
                  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
                  • 1 Tablespoon Creole Seasoning
                  • 1 regular beer
                  • 3 cups Vegetable oil


                  1. Cut onions crosswise into 1 inch thick slices and separate into rings.
                  2. Place rings in a large bowl of cold water and soak for at least 30 minutes to remove any bitterness.
                  3. To make dry batter, mix together flour, cornmeal, cornstarch, baking powder, parsley, and Creole Seasoning in a large bowl.
                  4. Combine dry batter and beer in a large bowl and blend thoroughly, using a whisk.
                  5. Cover the bowl and allow the batter to sit refrigerated for no less than 3 hours.
                  6. Pour enough oil into a cast-iron pot to come to a depth of 3''. Heat over medium-high heat to 325°–350°.
                  7. Drain onions. Working in batches, about 3–5 rings at a time, dip onions in beer batter, coating throughly.
                  8. Immediately fry onions in hot oil until crisp and golden, about 2 minutes. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove onion rings from oil; drain well on paper towels before serving.

                  1. wow thanks everyone for the varying receipes. I'm going to try to them one at a time.
                    My first run today was a bit of a disaster. I did buy quite a few onions since I figure I was going to try all the receipes. I can't figure out to post the pics on this site but I will report back as I get through the receipes.

                    1. has anyone used panko breadcrumbs to coat onion rings? Or something to give it a crispier batter?

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: sleepycat

                        Yes. In fact, my favorite recipe calls for panko, and the onion rings are out of this world.

                        1. re: DAHgirl

                          Here's what I do with panko (from Bon Appetit April 2000)

                          1 large egg
                          2 Tbsp vegetable oil
                          1 C water
                          1/4 C buttermilk
                          1 3/4 C all purpose flour
                          1 tsp salt
                          1/2 tsp baking soda

                          1 7-oz pkg panko
                          2 large sweet onions (such as Maui or Vidalia), peeled, cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices, separated into individual rings

                          vegetable oil for frying

                          I haven't made these in quite some time, but if I remember correctly, one onion makes a large plate of rings. Also, you might have more panko on hand, because I think I used more than the recipe called for.

                          1. re: DAHgirl

                            Ok so I tried this receipe first because it looked like the closest to what I was looking for.

                            I just have a couple of questions. I take that it that I have one bowl of batter and one plate of panko breadcrumbs. What does the 2 tbsp of veg oil do for the batter? If I'm already deep frying them why do I need that in the batter.

                            The panko gave the onion rings a nice crispiness but I don't think I had the temperature hot enough so it soaked a lot of the oil. What temperature should the oil be at?

                            How do I keep the panko from glueing itself together?

                            1. re: sleepycat

                              For the above panko recipe - you whisk egg and oil. No idea why the extra oil. Never really thought about it. Then whisk in water and buttermilk, and then whisk in last three ingredients. You do have one bowl of batter and one of panko. You want to make sure you fully coat the onion with the batter but also let any excess drip. The batter is thick, so it's kind of a long process. Then coat with panko. I do all of the coating first and then frying. Heat oil to 350 degrees. I put the cooked rings on paper towels to soak up as much oil as possible. Then I sprinkle some Kosher salt and pepper on top.

                              1. re: DAHgirl

                                Thanks for the tips... I'm still curious about what the extra oil does... darn

                                guess I'll have to get a proper fryer first :D

                      2. We can't always find, at the grocery, vegetables that restaurants can get easily because they use a large quantity. Red Robin, I'm sure, has no trouble getting 50-lb bags of gigantic sweet onions.

                        As for a "home" solution, sorry, I can't offer one (unless you are prepared to go to a restaurant supplier and buy in 50-lb increments).

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: wayne keyser

                          Yeah I noticed. Outbacks has the largest celery sticks I have ever seen.

                          I did find big sweet onions at Superstore.

                        2. I saw a Tyler Florence episode on Foodnetwork recently where he did a steak sandwich and onion rings that looked amazing. He used rice flour in the recipe.

                          Sweet onions are in the stores here (Denver) now. I got some 1015s yesterday. I like them better than Vidalias, Maui or Walla Walla.

                          1. Does anyone have a good sauce for onion rings?