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Onion ring
Basket of onion rings
TypeEntree, side dish, snack dish
CourseHors d'oeuvre
Place of originUnited Kingdom
Main ingredientsOnions, batter or bread crumbs

Onion rings (also called French-fried onion rings)[1] is a form of appetizer or side dish in British and American cuisine. They generally consist of a cross-sectional "ring" of onion dipped in batter or bread crumbs and then deep fried; a variant is made with onion paste. While typically served as a side dish, onion rings are often eaten by themselves.

Onion strings are a variant where the onion is cut vertically first, resulting in strips rather than circles.[2]


A British recipe from 1802 calls for cutting onions into slices, dipping them into a batter including Parmesan cheese, and deep-frying them in lard. It suggests serving them with a sauce of melted butter and mustard.[3]

Many recipes for deep-fried onion slices or rings are found starting in the early 20th century. There are various processes:

Food chemistry

The cooking process decomposes propanethial oxide in the onion into the sweet-smelling and tasting bispropenyl disulfide, responsible for the slightly sweet taste of onion rings.[14]

See also


  1. ^ "French Fried Onion Rings", The Big Apple, February 11, 2007
  2. ^ Berkowitz, Roger; Doerfer, Jane (13 May 2003). The New Legal Sea Foods Cookbook: 200 Fresh, Simple, and Delicious Recipes from Appetizers to Desserts. Clarkson Potter/Ten Speed. p. 259. ISBN 978-0-7679-0691-3.
  3. ^ Mollard, John (1802). The Art of Cookery Made Easy and Refined (second ed.). p. 152.
  4. ^ Rorer, Sarah Tyson (1902). "Fried Onions". Mrs. Rorer's New Cook Book. Philadelphia: Arnold and Company. p. 404.
  5. ^ Freshel, Mrs Maud Russell Lorraine Sharpe (1907). The Golden Rule Cook Book: Six Hundred Recipes for Meatless Dishes. Little, Brown. p. 125.
  6. ^ "Recipes from Public Demonstrations: French Fried Onions". The Boston Cooking School Magazine. Vol. 6, no. 9. January 1916. p. 468.
  7. ^ Fort Wayne (Indiana) Sentinel, 20 June 1908, p. 15 col 3, cited in Barry Popik, "The Big Apple", February 11, 2007,
  8. ^ Beeton, Isabella (1909). "German and Austrian Cookery: 3710.―Wiener Steaks". Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management (New ed.). London: Ward, Lock & Company. p. 1549.
  9. ^ Middletown (New York) Daily Times, quoted in The Big Apple [1], 11 February 2007.
  10. ^ "Queries and Answers: Fried Onion Rings". American Cookery; Formerly the Boston Cooking-school Magazine. Vol. 20, no. 6. January 1916. p. 468.
  11. ^ Stevenson Memorial Cook Book. Sarah Hackett Stevenson Memorial Lodging House Association. 1919.
  12. ^ Yeager, Albert Franklin; Schalk, Arthur Frederick; Bolley, Henry Luke; Waldron, Lawrence Root; Stevens, Orin Alva; Webster, Robert Lorenzo; Stoa, Theodore Ellinson (1922). North Dakota Pure Seed Law: Interpretations and Suggestions. Agricultural Experiment Station, North Dakota Agricultural College.
  13. ^ Harris, Ethel Longley (1914). Wholesome Cooking, a Practical Book for a Practical Cook: Two Hundred Well-tested Recipes. Rand, McNally. p. 53.
  14. ^ Schwarcz, Joe. "Why do onions make you cry when you cut them? And why are they sweet when you fry them?". McGill Office for Science and Society. Retrieved 2 August 2022.