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Monday, September 16, 2013

Crisp and Crunchy Onion Rings

Do you prefer fries or onion rings? I would say that both do the trick for me but having eaten fries most of the time whenever I have fast food, I would reckon onion rings is definitely a treat for me. But sometimes when I go to the Burger King counter, it could get to me too. I have a hard time choosing :)

The last time I saw the onion rings episode on Masterchef Australia 2012, I was excited. Especially when my MC favourite won her challenge! If you seen that episode, you would probably know that I'm talking about Kylie Millar. She is such a bubbly person and always have this heartwarming smile on her face. 

In that episode, it seems that many of them used this particular ingredient in their onion ring batter - soda water! What is soda water? At first, I thought yikes they used ice cream soda to make these onion rings, wouldn't it taste sweet and salty? YIKES!! Aiya!! I am super suaku (mountain tortoise in translation or rather, a frog in a well) haha. 

I did some research on this and found out that both soda water (water where carbon dioxide gas under pressure has been dissolved into) and beer gives you two different types of onion ring batter. Beer batter gives you a light coating with a subtle malt-like taste that complements the onion taste whereas soda water batter gives you a japanese tempura batter which gives you a very light and flaky coating that barely coats the onions, thus giving you a very onion-y flavour.

Having said all that, you might have suspected that I would go for the japanese tempura batter since beer battered onion rings are pretty common. Let's try something different!

Here's Kylie Millar's recipe which she won the rest hands down. The judges literally said that hers were simply crisp and crunchy and I'm sure I remembered hearing the crunch whilst they were eating it. 

Ingredients:

2 Large brown onions
1/4 Cup Plain Flour
1 1/2 Cups Soda Water
1 Cup Plain Flour
Pinch of Salt
Oil to fry

Method:
  1. Chop the onions up into 5mm circles, push out all the rings then place in a bowl with the 1/4 cup flour and toss to coat.
  2. In another bowl, pop the 1 cup flour along with the soda water and salt and whisk until smooth and is the consistency of runny honey.
  3. Heat the oil up on the stove, to test it you can place one of the onion rings in there, it should bubble straight away.
  4. Then in batches, shake off the flour, dunk the onion into the batter then fry until golden. 
  5. Drain on some absorbent paper towel then sprinkle some more salt and then dig in!! 

These onion rings are definitely crispy, crunchy and a tad salty ;) Do not be deceived by my imperfect photographic skills which I do aim to perfect it someday or another. Yes, call me a procrastinator but for me, this will suffice for now, I guess.

Back to the onion rings, after the first sprinkle of salt, the first thing I did despite all warning thoughts of the onion rings being hot or a sore throat did nothing to me, was to grab one and try. The first thing that I experienced was an absolute crunch just like you hear when you eat a cucumber or a potato chip. If that description isn't enough for you, you've got to try frying these super crispy crunchy onion rings. I absolutely adore the batter used to cook these. It's brilliant!! Soda water vs beer, I'll probably choose soda water anytime!! Beer battered ones are not too bad, apart from the fact that they have a denser texture.

Mr G loves them too, that's the other oomph factor!! ;)

Personal note:
  • be careful with that soda water since it has compressed carbon dioxide in it. It might spritz everywhere when you are opening the cap. I couldn't think of where to buy soda water but I did manage to find it in the Marks and Spencer store. 
  • Remember not to stack your onion rings on top of one another like the picture above. Lay your fried onion rings on a plate or plates so that they will remain crisp and crunchy. Heat with steam will create condensation that cause your onion rings to turn soggy.
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