Introduction: Blooming Onion

Picture of Blooming Onion

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!

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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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!

Picture of 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!


iminthebathroom (author)2011-01-06

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!

BlackSheep0ne (author)2015-08-25

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.

HollyMann (author)2012-10-23

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

triumphman (author)2012-04-20

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

kenchato (author)2010-07-06

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

mikeasaurus (author)kenchato2010-07-07

esta cebolla paró mi corazón

kenchato (author)mikeasaurus2010-07-07

Por el buen sabor ? o por ser frituras? xD

triumphman (author)kenchato2012-04-20


scoochmaroo (author)2011-06-24

Can you please make this at the lab one day?

Cam918 (author)2011-04-13

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

SageMinto (author)2011-02-22

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.

spark master (author)2010-09-24

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

spark master (author)2010-04-15

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!!!!!

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

seadog00 (author)spark master2010-09-14

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 !

spark master (author)seadog002010-09-14

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!!


lancer525 (author)spark master2010-05-19

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.

spark master (author)lancer5252010-05-19

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.

caitlinsdad (author)2010-04-12

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.

seadog00 (author)caitlinsdad2010-09-14

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.

doomsdayltd (author)2010-08-28

i tried this on my birthday and it was f'n awesome! i also found the Out Back Steak House bloomin onion dip as well it was very appetizing with it

ch5 (author)2010-08-11

I finally had enough time to try this.
Didn't turn out as perfect as the picture but very yummy anyways :)
Burning down the flat in the process was totally worth it.
... since it wasn't mine anyway.
Thanks a lot for this awsome recipe! i'm definitely making more of these.

ClayOgre (author)2010-04-28

Looks interesting, but I'd be REAL leery of doing it on top of an electric stove as is shown in your pictures.  Especially given the size of pan you are using.  Looks perilously close to boiling over.   I had a bad experience deep frying on just such a stove.  By the time it was all over, the fire department had arrived and they had to manhandle my still burning stove outdoors.

What happened?  The pot boiled over and all that hot oil ignited from the burner, then proceeded to make its way, still burning, down inside the guts of the electric stove, which is very easy to do with the "coil burner" style of stove, since the burn area isn't sealed at all from the rest of the stove.

Separate fat fryers (such as the Presto "Fry Daddy" units) are a LOT safer, and if you somehow manage to boil over, there isn't a nice hot burner to ignite cooking oil that has already been heated to near its flash point.

spark master (author)ClayOgre2010-05-19

I have a fry baby and fry daddy and a gas stove. I have successfully welded two enamelware pots to electric stoves. It is never the stove, it is the cook. You forget the pot, it goes dry, you ruin the pot/stove/both  You need a much bigger pot then you think you do and temperature matters to the perfectionist.

Making Polish "bowties" Kryshstykie (splling?) , zeppoli, spfingia and other fried items for years on gas stoves and two electrics. Never ever had a fire, as prviously admitted I melted two pots to electric elements. In addition I  warped , to death , my farberware tea kettle, it never worked right again always dribbled.

If you want to do an onion in a dedicated fryer, it better be very big, to ensure coming back to temp fast (recovery rate), foam up, and simple room in pot for onion.

I have overflowed the fry baby/daddy once each and it is a pain in butt to clean, I disassembled it and cleaned in the base. When I use stove top deep frying I never have issues, (well, except with my cardiologist). To use an elctric deep fryer you need a big fryolator.

To determine size of pot , look at fry ba-daddy, measure the height to the fat fill line and the height to the top of the cooker, , that is the approximate ratio you need. err on the side of safety if the ratio is 2 inches fat 8inches air, make it 2 inches fat  10 inches air.  Pot is 12 inches tall.

Also the oil must be deep enough so that when it fryes it floats well over the bottom, so by time of 3rd onion you don't crud up the new onion.

so you need small onions for that 12 inch pot cippolini eh!!

love this eatable, ere instructable, gotta go make an early lunch now


niftycurly (author)2010-04-15

 Yumm!  Bloomin' onions are so delicious - great 'ible.
For those who are a little freaked by the boiling oil : I often bake these in the oven using a wetter batter.  They take a little longer to cook but come out really great.  Curry spices in the batter is usually the party favorite.

rpb (author)niftycurly2010-05-17

I was looking for a bake option rather than a deep fry recipe (to avoid the fat content, the leftover oil, and the fire hazard).  Could you  tell us what batter recipe you use and what temperature/time for baking?  You'd want to make sure if cooks right down to the middle.


spark master (author)rpb2010-05-19

this looks like an idea worth trying. I would think a very high temp like close to 450-500 degrees to get he crisp edges.
let cook when the coating is dry but not brown pull out, spray with pam/spray oil shove back in and finish cooking it.

hhmmm sounds tasty to me

Robot Lover (author)2010-04-12

could i use a red onion?

mikeasaurus (author)Robot Lover2010-04-12

robotlover4evr: yes, red onion would work.
However, blooming onions work best with the sweeter onion variety you use. Vidalia onion's are considered the best as they are "an unusually sweet variety of onion, due to the low amount of in the soil in which the onions are grown".

I also think any of the friends of the onion family would work for this, some tasty thoughts for spring onions an leeks!

bpfh (author)mikeasaurus2010-04-24

Then low amount of what in the soil?

In any case, great idea, i'll try it tomorrow for dinner!

mikeasaurus (author)bpfh2010-04-24
yikes, good catch. It should read:

"an unusually sweet variety of onion, due to the low amount of
sulfur in the soil in which the onions are grown."
SpecEd (author)mikeasaurus2010-04-15

 Walla Walla is another sweet onion. Great instructable!

Robot Lover (author)mikeasaurus2010-04-12

Thanks! Also you can get these at texas road house and chilis!

firefliie (author)2010-04-21

i failed, so bad.

magoya77 (author)2010-04-20

Thanks, very rich

Phoghat (author)2010-04-20

The first time I had this was in a lttle family restaurant. The dipping sauce they served with it was delicious so I asked the waitress what it was. She didn't want to tell me, but came back later and said"Mayo with McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak seasoning" I don't think they're the only ones that make it, but I always use it on steak anyway so that's what I use.

ch5 (author)2010-04-13

Mmmm! seems yummy.
I will try this soon.
Is temperature really critical ?  ( I don't have such a thermometer)
Or is "somewhere between medium and high" easy to estimate ?

Phoghat (author)ch52010-04-20

Take a cube of white bread (no crust) when it turns golden toasty in about 3 minutes, your golden (LOL)

mikeasaurus (author)ch52010-04-13


Temperature is important, there's a risk of burning your onion if the oil is too hot and possibly ruining the coating if not hot enough.

The thermometer shown here was bought at the 'dollar store' for about $3 CAD (biggest case of false advertising). You could probably get away without a thermometer, however I strongly recommend using one.

ch5 (author)mikeasaurus2010-04-13

The dollar store thing made me laugh :p

pdub77 (author)ch52010-04-13

I agree.  The 'dollar' store joke rocks!

Lyngrl (author)2010-04-13

Simple and very pretty. When you mention the splattering, I remembered a Chef once telling me that in deep frying, a good 3 inches from the top of the pot to the surface of the oil is the best way to prevent oil from spilling over. I use a big wok at home myself when Deep frying and I can't wait to try this out. ;)

Phoghat (author)Lyngrl2010-04-20

A lot of TV chefs sa to never fill the pot more than half way

kelseymh (author)2010-04-12

Awesome!  Even the pictures are raising my cholesterol :-)  Oh, Lipitor!  You really are my friend....

caitlinsdad (author)kelseymh2010-04-12

What happened to Jose Cuervo?

Phoghat (author)caitlinsdad2010-04-20

He sneaked over the Texas border and works for a landscaper

sheepguy42 (author)kelseymh2010-04-12

 If you use non-dairy milk this would be cholesterol-free. Using an oil that is as low in saturated fat as possible and as fresh as possible would still be relatively safe as far as cholesterol goes.

Yes but the human body is totally capable of making its own cholesterol if you give it plenty of fat and starch to work with ;)

kelseymh (author)sheepguy422010-04-12

Yeah, but doesn't that spoil all the fun of going to Outback ;->

RaNDoMLeiGH (author)2010-04-18

I like wasabi and miracle whip as a dip... thin it a little with milk if necessary. Other possibilities are mayo with "soul food seasoning".

Definitely replace milk with flat beer or sake. The cheaper the better for cooking!


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