Onion Strings

As a side, on top of a burger, added to a salad - these perfectly crispy strings really tie a dish together!

More delicate tasting than onion rings, onion strings are already a favorite. The trick is to cut the onions as thinly as possible, and to soak them in buttermilk before frying. Be sure to serve them immediately, otherwise the onion strings will become soggy.

Serves 4


For Onion Strings:
2 pounds large yellow or sweet onions, such as Vidalia
3 to 4 cups buttermilk
2 cups grapeseed or vegetable oil
3 to 4 cups Fried Fish Coating (ingredients below)

For Fried Fish Coating:
1 cup white cornmeal
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon salt


For Fried Fish Coating:
Place the cornmeal, flour, dry mustard, and salt in a blender. Blend at medium speed until thoroughly combined, 20 to 30 seconds.

For Onion Strings:
Peel the onions and cut a pie-shaped wedge from the top to the bottom of each onion. Place the onion sideways on a counter and hold it tightly with one hand, almost squeezing the onion closed. (This makes it easier to cut thin slices.) Thinly slice the onion and separate out each strand. Continue until all the onions are sliced. Cover the strands with buttermilk and let soak for at least 15 minutes.

Add the oil to a deep fryer, and heat the oil to 360°F. While the oil is heating, drain the onion strands and toss in the Fried Fish Coating. Place a small batch of strings in the heated oil and deep-fry until they are lightly browned and crisp, about 30 seconds per batch. Remove with a slotted spoon, and continue frying the onions until all are cooked. Place the cooked strings on paper bags or several layers of paper towels, and serve immediately.

From the "Legal Sea Foods Cookbook" by Roger Berkowitz and Jane Doerfer, illustrated by Edward Koren.

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