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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

An onion ring, also called a French fried onion ring,[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.


A British recipe from 1802 calls for cutting onions into slices, dipping them into a batter, adding Parmesan cheese, and deep frying them in lard. It suggests serving them with a sauce of melted butter and mustard.[2]

Recipes for and references to deep-fried battered onion slices or rings are found across the 20th century: one in Middletown, New York in 1910;[3] another in a 1933 advertisement for Crisco.[4]

Various restaurants claimed to have invented onion rings, including the Kirby's Pig Stand restaurant chain, founded in Oak Cliff, Texas in the early 1920s.[5]

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.[6]

See also


  1. ^ "French Fried Onion Rings", The Big Apple, February 11, 2007
  2. ^ Mollard, John (1802). The Art of Cookery Made Easy and Refined (second ed.). p. 152.
  3. ^ Middletown (New York) Daily Times, quoted in The Big Apple [1], 11 February 2007.
  4. ^ "Crisco Advertisement". The New York Times Magazine. 6 November 1933. pp. SM18. "Cut large onions into slices about ¼ inch thick. Separate slices into rings. Dip rings into milk. dredge with flour. … Fry onion rings until brown."
  5. ^ "Oak Cliff Trivia". Retrieved 25 October 2010.
  6. ^ 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.