Onion rings! So delicious, but depending on how they’re prepared, they may also be so greasy, unhealthy, and regret-inducing. These crispy rings are the perfect solution: oil-free, baked, and with a light coating that gives a great crunch while allowing the sweet, delicious onion flavour to shine through. And despite the various bowls and possible minor mess involved, they are actually pretty quick to prepare.
When I was a kid, I hated onions. The first time I encountered onion rings was at Harvey’s when I was around ten, and they smelled so good. My ingenious solution to this yummy-smelling but oniony dilemma was to break each ring in half, pull out the tiny string of onion and cast it aside, and eat just the batter shell. Wow, eh? I’ve come a long way since then.
These rings would make a great appetizer or side for a veggie burger, or you can just eat a whole bunch of them for dinner (like I did). You’ll feel great; no pangs of regret!
- 2 Tablespoons ground flax
- 5 Tablespoons warm water
- 1/3 cup beer (or nondairy milk of choice)
- ½ cup flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups panko
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 large Vidalia/sweet onion (about the size of a baseball)
Preheat oven to 450 and cover two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine the ground flax and water and stir well, then let it sit for a few minutes to gel (this is about 2 flax eggs).
Combine the flour, salt and pepper, and place in a shallow bowl. Combine the panko, garlic powder and paprika and place in another shallow bowl. Once the flax eggs have gelled, add the beer (or milk) and stir, and place in yet another shallow bowl.
Set up the assembly line: flour bowl, flax/beer bowl, panko bowl, baking sheets.
Now you can cut your onion crosswise into very thick slices – mine were about an inch thick. Pop the rings apart.
(I suggest cutting the onion after getting everything else is ready to minimize onion-related eyeball suffering. You might want to light a couple of tealights or other unscented candles on the counter to help burn off the onion fumes. You can also cover the cut onion with a towel to contain the fumes and just reach under to grab rings as you go.)
Make the rings: dredge a ring in flour, dip in flax/beer mixture, then dredge in panko. Place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining onion rings. To save space on the sheets, you can place teeny little nubby rings inside big ones.
Bake for about 20-24 minutes, turning the rings over gently about halfway through. They should be browned along the edges and soft on the inside.
Serve with leafy celery sticks and dip of choice! I suggest ketchup, hot sauce, or fancy mustard. Mega yum.