Introduction: Blooming Onion

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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

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! Happy making :)