Blooming Onion

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Introduction: Blooming Onion

About: I'm Mike and I make crazy things at Instructables HQ in San Francisco. Follow me and try a few of my projects for yourself!

love onions.
Onions are good in a salad, a sammie, sautéed, raw and especially barbequed. Recently, I learned of a new way to enjoy this tear-jerking underground veggie: deep fried.

This tasty treat is a great snack to share next time you have guests, and the variety of spices and dips that can be added are endless!

CAUTION:
This project deals with very hot oil and may be dangerous for some. Always wear appropriate clothing and use safe cooking techniques
.

Enough talk, let's bloom an onion!

Step 1: Ingredients + Materials


onion bloom batter:
  • all purpose flour
  • milk
  • salt & pepper
  • spice to taste


other needs:
  • large deep pot / home fryer
  • cooking oil
  • large knife
  • fryer thermometer (candy thermometer)
  • large bag
  • perforated ladle (fryer strainer)

Step 2: The Cut

to get your onion to bloom you'll need to make a series of vertical cuts around the center of the onion, these cuts are made prior to frying.

Cut the top off the onion and remove the peel.
Make a vertical cuts through the onion stopping when you are close to the bottom, rotate the onion around its axis and continue making vertical cuts until you have 3-6mm (1/8"-1/4") petals.

Remember to leave the bottom of your onion attached, and to stop your vertical cuts shy of slicing right through.


Step 3: The Mix

Next we're going to coat our cut onion in a mix of flour and spices.

For this you'll need a large plastic bag, all-purpose flour, and spices to taste. I used oregano, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. The variations are endless, share your ideas in the comments below.


Step 4: Shake, Dip, Shake

Before you coat your onion it's advised to splay the petals of the onion some before placing into the bag.

the shake:
When ready, place the onion into the bag of flour and spice blend. Seal bag and gently shake to cover entire onion, use your fingers through the bag to work flour between the petals.

the dip:
Remove the onion from the bag and dunk into a bowl of milk. Quickly remove from bowl and place back into bag of flour mix.

the shake:
Gently shake the onion in the mix, make sure flour gets everywhere.

Your onion should now look thoroughly coated, repeat the dunk-shake if desired.

Step 5: Heat the Oil

Fill your large pot with enough oil to cover the size of onion you're using, in this example I used about a litre. Be cautious of oil displacement and boil-over when the onion is submerged, don't fill your pot too much otherwise you risk a fire hazard.

Once your pot is filled with oil, fire up your element and drop in your thermometer. We're looking to heat the oil to 190-200°C (375-400°F). Ranges will vary, but somewhere between medium and high.

do not leave hot oil unattended

Step 6: Fry That Onion

When your oil has reached a consistent temperature, slowly lower your onion into the oil using a ladle or strainer.

The initial boil when first placed in the oil will be turbulent, oil may spatter.
Wear appropriate clothes and use common sense.

With the onion completely submerged it will cook in about 5 minutes.

Step 7: Enjoy!

After about 5 minuted the onion should be crispy and golden brown. Carefully remove from oil using ladle and place on something absorbent, this is one oily onion.

The onion bloom can be enjoyed as-is with guests plucking their eats, or you can remove the core and the petals should separate and you can eat them like chips. Serve immediately with a dip of your choosing.

Onion blooms can be made with almost any spices and go great with any dip. For a themed approach maybe a spicy tex-mex spice with a chipotle-mayo dip, or a Mediterranean feel with fenugreek with tzatziki?

Share your ideas and recipes in the comments below, enjoy!

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    95 Comments

    I am actually doing a variation of this at the restaurant tomorrow night, one tip that we always do is to cut out a 3/4" hole down the center of the onion, kinda like when you core an apple. Cuts down on the cooking time, allows more grease to drain away. Also we soak ours in water after the cuts in the cooler over night, this pre-blooms it a little which makes seasoning it easier. Lastly when you say to let it rest in the fridge for 15 minutes after breading, you can extend this up to an hour or more. Almost all breaded foods should have this rest period. What your doing is allowing part of the moisture to evaporate and/or dry the breading into a harder shell which doesn't come off as much in the fryer. Hope this helps!

    sweet onions like Texas 1015s are really good fixed this way. If you *must* avoid excess fat, slice the onion per these directions and soak in ice water until it opens, then thoroughly drain. Spray with baking spray and sprinkle with 1 part cornstarch, 1 part stoneground meal, 1 part flour and your choice of spices; let stand 10 minutes to overnight, spray and repeat the sprinkling (up to 4 times). Bake in a preheated hot oven (400 F) 20-30 minutes. Like baked "french fries" it won't be exact but will be close.

    YUM!!!!!!! I want this please :) looks so good and I haven't had one in years.

    We deep fry walabees that way! Real "Downunder" food! Yummy! Enjoy mates!!

    Que rico se ve eso! That looks soo good, xD ( ahi si quiere un amigo que hable español aca hay uno xD)

    3 replies

    esta cebolla paró mi corazón

    Por el buen sabor ? o por ser frituras? xD

    Can you please make this at the lab one day?

    Nice. I've always wanted to know how those were made. Even better, now I can make one!

    Looks delicious! I've always wanted to try a blooming onion. :D

    As a substitute for the milk, would sparkling water be good? I use it for frying fish in a batter. It makes the end result very crispy.

    but the bloomin onion is wonderful, except to my arteries and heart, they say no no no please no!

    Outback was started here and has no Australian in it, except the name.  The food is ubiquitous in design, with "aussie" like connotations.

    Don't use canola oil, to those of us who can taste it (not everyone) it tastes like crap. If you gave it to me I would just smell it and toss it in trash.

    Canola is 100% GMF  as the parent product is toxic over time to humans, so it was GM'd to be edible. Problem is, to some (me and my dads family) it has a distinct stink and taste. My wife and my inlaws canneigh taste it.

    I like SUnflower oil when I can get it it is the best or even crisco, which is blended and may have canola in it at a level I can not taste.

    great how to, I have the blooming slicer thingie and will one day make one. So many fat grams , such clogged arteries.... time to take the statins!!!!!

    5 replies


    Canola is 100% GMF as the parent product is toxic over time to humans, so it was GM'd to be edible.

    Er. No it isn't GMF, it was cultivated to be naturally low in toxic acids in Canada - hence CanOla Canadian Low Acid. The first GM versions were only introduced in 1995.

    THe discussion in the wiki article is very erudite

    100 % agree with this, As an Australian (who lived in the US and has been to an outback steakhouse) I can say there is NOTHING on the menu there that is even remotely Australian. In fact if I was served one of their "Melbourne" burgers at a resturaunt here I would send it back to the kitchen !

    The place is kinda like Johnny Rockets, designed "to be something", to evoke a feeling.

    Food to many had become like Disney land, totally artificial. And Americans are not alone. If you give high fat low taste over salted and sweetened food to most people they love it. But that's ok, in 2012 the Maya calender stops we line up with the galactic center the giant black hole there sucks us in and we will no longer exist. Our proteins and such get squished and stretched and ripped to shreds. We will become one with the universe. We then get spit out the other end of the black hole into an alternate universe as mindless matter. Kinda like somew politicians. Maybe in 3-5 billions years some of our molecules then recombine to form a cow and we get chopped up to become a Mccrap Pattie, or Chicken MC Grease with a boring cornflake coating deep fried in canola oil. MMMM, McCrap Burgers go'n out fer some right now!!

    sparkie

    You know, you can always try peanut oil... That's one of the best high-temp cooking oils I've ever used. I used to fry turkeys for Thanksgiving at my in-laws place, and that's what we always used. Some types of oils (canola included) have lower smoke points, so try one with a higher temp smoke point!! Just stay away from olive oil at all costs. It's too easy to burn.

    Peanut oil has the highest temp of all cooking fats. I only comment because to some of us Canola tastes like crap. Olive oi (extra virgin) has a very low smoke point and needs to be avoided. What is labelled Pure olive oil has a much higher smoke/flash point, but, as you noted very expensive compared to peanut.

    I've never made one but I have seen recipes where you dunk the cut onion in ice water to help it spread the layers.  I don't know if it really is authentic Aussie fare since it was introduced by Outback Aussie-themed restaurants.

    1 reply

    DEFINATELY not Australian fare, but then nothing else at outback is either. As an Australian who lived in the US for a year (and visited an outback steakhouse) I can honestly say that the only think there that is remotely Australian are the names of the meals.