onion rings are too good (YS, bookmarked)

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summary: onion rings made with wild yeast starter leftovers; use up the extra batter for deep-fried bananas; submission for “YeastSpotting” and “Bookmarked Recipes 18” (click on images for larger views and more photos)

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onion rings I’ve been meaning for ages to rave about the onion rings we made weeks ago using Tanna’s (My Kitchen in Half Cups) brilliant idea for using up left over sludge after feeding the wild yeast.

The onion rings were fabulous!! And very very bad for us. Because we want to have onion rings every day. This is not good. I really don’t want to have to buy new trousers.

But the really bad thing about this is that I have put off posting about this for so long that I can’t remember exactly how much sludge we used. My guess is that it was less than Tanna used. My starter is much smaller than most peoples’ starters. But I do know that we just winged the rest of the measurements.

This is because T was in charge of making the onion rings. He is allergic to measuring cups and prefers to add things, taste, add something more, look at the consistency, maybe add something more (or not), etc. etc. And the most irritating thing about his adherence to almost always refusing to measure with more than eyeball judgements in various containers (hands being considered containers) is that I can’t remember the last time he produced something inedible. In fact I can’t remember the last time he produced anything but the most wonderful food (except for those disgusting sloppy scrambled eggs he makes for himself – eeeewwwwwwww– claiming that they’re delicious).

But I’m getting away from myself… I’m supposed to talk about onion rings. Stay on topic!! Onion rings. Delicious onion rings. Really delicious onion rings!

(click on image for larger view and more photos)

Here is what we did to make the onion rings (I think):

Onion Rings
batter made with leftovers after feeding wild-yeast starter

based on Tanna’s (My Kitchen in Half Cups) version of onion rings (which was in turn adapted from a recipe in “Breads from the La Brea Bakery” by Nancy Silverton)

  • left overs after feeding wild yeast (did I measure it?! You must be joking! My vague recollection is that it was about 75 gm)
  • ¼ c ?? unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¼ c ?? water
  • 2 Tbsp (give or take) ?? cold sparkling water
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • unbleached all-purpose flour
  • cayenne chili flakes
  • seasalt and pepper
  • vegetable oil
  • more seasalt, optional


  1. In a smallish bowl, stir together the leftovers of wild yeast starter (after feeding it) with flour and water. Cover and set aside.
  2. Slice the onions to about ¼ inch thick. Separate the rings. Don’t worry if there are two or three onion rings attached together.
  3. Stir sparkling water into the leftovers after feeding the starter. You want it to be the consistency of thinnish pancake batter.
  4. Put flour into a shallow bowl. Stir in salt, pepper and chili flakes. Drop the onion rings into the dish of seasoned flour and stir them around to cover (don’t worry if they don’t seem to have any flour on them.)
  5. Heat vegetable oil in a wok (about an inch or so at the bottom) until the tip of a wooden chop stick bubbles furiously when dipped in.
  6. Dip each floured ring into the batter and carefully transfer them into hot oil without overcrowding. Make sure the oil stays nice and hot. If it gets too cool, the onion rings absorb too much oil and get greasy.
  7. When the rings are beautifully golden brown, remove them to drain into a mesh strainer that can hang over the edge of the wok. It takes 2 or 3 minutes for the rings to cook.
  8. Extra batter? Don’t feel like cutting open another onion? Slice a banana lengthwise in half. A banana?! Yes! It’s delicious. (There is no need to flour the banana. Just smear it around in whatever is leftover of the batter. Once the banana is in the hot oil, use a rubber scraper to drizzle any last drops of batter onto the banana.) Cook until the banana is golden.

Sprinkle with salt (if you want) and serve immediately. Even if you don’t serve them immediately, they stay wonderfully crisp even as they cool.

onion rings About that banana… this was our idea. And I must say it was a brilliant move. If it hadn’t been for the banana pakoras we’d tried already, we would never have thought of it. But really, it’s fabulous. Once again, the next time we make onion rings, I think we’ll have to throw in a banana to use up the dregs.

In spite of how incredibly good these onion rings were, you’ve probably guessed that we haven’t had them again. Not because we didn’t adore them. We did. We really did.

But we did bicycle to the market today. Surely that peddling has cancelled out the extra calories, hasn’t it?

Can we have onion rings again? Please? Oh, do say yes! They’d be great with hamburgers….

Events: YeastSpotting and Bookmarked Recipes

Bookmarked Recipes
Bookmarked Recipes - every Monday Ruth (Ruth’s Kitchen Experiments) created this event to urge herself (and everyone else) to actually make the several recipes they have bookmarked. She wrote:

To take part here’s what you do…….

  1. Pick a recipe from a book/magazine/blog/website/tv show and make it. (Note you can only submit 1 recipe per week)
  2. Blog about it […]
  3. Email [Ruth] with the following information:
    – Your name and where you’re from
    – The name of your blog
    – The permalink for your entry
    – A photo of your entry
    – A note of where you got your recipe from

For complete details on how to participate, please read the following:


I’m particularly excited to be submitting this post, especially because this is a great way to use up the extras after feeding the starter. I really loathe throwing it out! It seems like such a waste.

I hope that it does fall into the YeastSpotting category. After all, there is no bread here. Just wonderful onion rings. (Not to mention that ambrosial banana!)

For complete details on how to be included in Susan’s (Wild Yeast) YeastSpotting round up, please read the following:

This post is partially mirrored on The Fresh Loaf


edit 23 August 2008: We made onion rings again the other night and I weighed the amount of sludge that we started with. It was 55gms. However, I did NOT pay any attention to how much of the other ingredients we used. If you want to make onion rings and don’t feel like winging the amounts, please use Tanna’s recipe for onion rings (alas, it is no longer online… it was at mykitcheninhalfcups.com/My_Kitchen_In_Half_Cups...Second_Helping_/My_Kitchen_in_Half_Cups...Second_Helping/Entries/2008/3/26_Entry_1.html)

Edit 11 April 2020: Happily, Nancy Silverton’s sourdough onion ring recipe IS available online. (Of course, it’s also included in her excellent book “Breads from the La Brea Bakery”….)

This entry was posted in bookmarked, crossblogging, food & drink, posts with recipes, PPN; YeastSpotting; MLLA; T&C, side, wild yeast (sourdough) on by .

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6 responses to “onion rings are too good (YS, bookmarked)

  1. Bellini Valli

    I love onion rings but still don’t have a deep fat fryer and have a fear of oil on the stove…so I will just oogle your photos :D

    For the longest time we had a similar fear, Val. But then we realized that a inch or so of oil in the bottom of the wok wasn’t nearly as terrifying as an actual deep fat fryer. And as far as I can tell, it works just as well too. The big advantage to the wok is that it uses up less oil. -Elizabeth

  2. Tina

    I love onion rings!! Have been wanting to try making them for some time now, looks like I need to just do it. Yours look wonderful!! and yes with a cheeseburger please!!

  3. ejm Post author

    Good idea to make the hamburgers into cheeseburgers, Tina! It’s such a good idea that we’re going to have that tomorrow night. With your hamburger buns, Susan. I’ve been meaning to make that recipe for ages. (I’ll put together the preferment a little later tonight.)

    Yes, Ruth, that’s the only thing wrong with the onion rings – their moreish quality. :-)

    Rats! We forgot to get bananas today! I’ll have to remember to get some tomorrow. (oooh, now I’m suddenly torn. Should I get some marshmallows so we can make banana boats (outdooradventurecanada[dot]com/kitchen-v1-1.htm) for dessert too?)



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