Although I didn't like onion rings until a few years ago, I am making up for lost time. And I love to make them at home using this recipe because it's a breeze.
Boxed Pancake Mix.
That's right, pancake mix. Not even a fancy kind--I'm talking "just add water" here. It's the best way to get a crunchy, delicious crust with the tiniest hint of sweetness. This would be classified as an "unhealthy" dish, if you were wondering. So don't eat them every day.
1 large onion (I used yellow this time, but my favorite to use is red onion)
2 cups milk
about 1-1 1/2 cups prepared pancake batter (mix according to directions on the box, a.k.a add water. also, this recipe works best when batter is on the thin side)
Spicy Dipping Sauce (loosely based on this recipe)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp ketchup
dash of hot sauce
dash of worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
for the o-rings:
Peel & thickly slice the onion. Set aside small or non-ringlike pieces & use for a different recipe. Place rings in a shallow bowl and cover with the milk. Refrigerate for at least 2 hrs, up to overnight. On medium-high, heat enough oil to fill a small pan 1/2 inch deep. Dunk onions in batter, then carefully place into hot oil. Fry 1-2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper bags or paper towels.
for the sauce:
Combine all ingredients. You can tinker with the amounts to your tastes.
Using the pancake batter gives the outside of the rings a nice crunch, but leaves the inside light & chewy. Don't worry if one side of your ring has more batter than the other (since we're cooking them one side at a time). I've found the taste and texture are not compromised by this--if it bothers you, these can also be deep fried to have a more even texture all the way around.