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Tuesday, June 30, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Dorothy Dean presents: Don’t cry while slicing - National Onion Ring Day is June 22

UPDATED: Mon., June 15, 2020

By Audrey Alfaro For The Spokesman-Review

Grab a knife and get ready to shed tears of joy as we’re slicing up onions for National Onion Ring Day.

This all-American favorite is celebrated annually on June 22, giving us the perfect reason to whip up a tasty batch of homemade onion rings.

Sliced, dredged, then fried, this recipe produces the most delicious and crunchiest onion rings ever. I credit that to panko and a savory combination of spices.

Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb that’s made of crustless white bread. It’s ground into coarse, large flakes that are airy and crisp. They add wonderful texture and absorb less oil than traditional breadcrumbs, keeping foods crisp longer.

The panko is seasoned with an addictively delicious blend of kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and Italian seasoning. The enhanced flavor of the crunchy exterior complements the delicate sweetness of the onion without overpowering it.

The seasoned panko is the last of a four-step dredging process used to coat the onion rings. Working in batches, assembly-line style, the rings are first dipped in egg wash, then lightly dredged in flour, then dipped back into the egg wash before being coated in the seasoned panko.

They’re then fried until golden and served hot with your favorite dip.

While chowing down on a platter alone is highly encouraged, they go great on or alongside burgers or sandwiches.

To reheat them, skip the microwave and use the oven. At 400 degrees for 10 minutes, they’ll be just as crisp as a freshly made batch. And, as an alternative to frying, they can be baked. Just line them up on a baking sheet and give them a thorough coating of cooking spray (which helps them get brown and crispy), and bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes, turning halfway through, until golden.

Any variety of onion can be used for this recipe. I prefer sweet onions for their soft and sweet taste, plus they have thick layers, which are perfect for slicing into rings. White onions are more pungent and sharp in flavor, while yellow onions have a good balance of sharp and sweet and mellow out the longer they cook.

This recipe also can be used to make fried pickles. Just pat them dry before dredging them.

Onion Rings

Oil for frying

½ cup all-purpose flour, or more if needed

2 eggs

½ cup milk

2 cups panko

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 large yellow sweet onion, sliced into ½-inch thick rings

For serving: ketchup, ranch or desired dip

Preheat about 1 ½ inches of oil in a frying pan over medium heat, or heat a deep fryer to 375 degrees.

Set up your breading station with three bowls. Add flour to one bowl. In the second bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. And in the third bowl, combine the panko and seasonings.

In assembly-line style, working in batches, dip the onion rings into the egg wash, then lightly dredge them in the flour, shaking off the excess, then dip them back into the egg wash before coating them in the seasoned panko mixture.

In batches of two to three, fry the onion rings until golden brown and crisp, 1 to 1 ½ minutes on each side. Drain on the paper towels.

Serve warm with dip of choice.

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