Light and Crispy Fried Onion Rings

Light and Crispy Onion Rings
Photo credit: Chris Granger and Colin Lacy
  • Yield: 6-8 servings


3cups buttermilk
3/4cup Louisiana hot sauce, such as Crystal or Original Louisiana Hot Sauce
2tablespoons Creole Seasoning, or Emeril's Original Essence
3teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 large sweet onions, such as Vidalia, Maui, or Walla Walla, sliced crosswise into 1/2 inch thick rings
Vegetable oil for deep frying
2cups all-purpose flour
2teaspoons baking powder
1teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning


  1. Combine the buttermilk, hot sauce, Creole Seasoning, and 2 teaspoons of the cayenne in a large mixing bowl. Separate the onion slices into individual rings (discard the small center portions or save them for another purpose). Add the onion rings to the buttermilk mixture and stir gently to coat. Refrigerate until chilled, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the vegetable oil in a deep fryer to 375°F. Position a wire rack over a paper towel- lined baking sheet.
  3.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 1 teaspoon cayenne.
  4. Working in batches, remove the onion rings from the buttermilk mixture, allowing the excess to drip back into the bowl, and dredge them in the flour mixture. Remove the coated rings from the flour, shake to remove any excess, and place them on the wire rack. Repeat until you have coated all the onion rings.
  5. Working in batches, fry the onion rings, turning them occasionally, until crisp and golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer them to the wire rack to drain briefly. Season lightly with salt and serve immediately.

Recipe from Emeril’s Cooking with Power by Emeril Lagasse (William Morrow, 2013)