Beer Battered Onion Rings! (a great tempura batter for nearly any vegetable)

We are having a bumper crop of onions this year. Big, juicy white ones, and round and torpedo shaped Tropea red onions. Even though it has been hot out, and I rarely fry, onion rings kept knocking at my brain’s door. Plus, friends J.R. and Bill who visited earlier this summer left behind a beer in the refrigerator. I am not a beer drinker, so I have been waiting for an opportunity to use it for cooking. Beer battered onion rings checked both boxes!

This tempura batter works well for nearly any vegetable, or anything you want to “tempura.” For example, I had some okra in the refrigerator so with some leftover batter I “tempura-ed” them, too. Mmm!

Arliano Update (Aggiornamento Arliano):

Interior painting is still going on after two weeks. For some reason they are doing multiple, thin, and watered-down coats, which takes more time than regular paint. I had to tell the workers that there is no contest to see who uses the least amount of paint. Maybe their approach is an employment program?

The workers have started to mount the window casings and insulation. The insulation reminds me of the old-fashioned Styrofoam coolers, which it is, essentially. Once the insulation is up, they will put a thick layer of stucco over it, followed by paint. When all is said and done, our house will looked puffed up with all the padding around it.

This year’s garden is like the “Upside Down” from Stanger Things. Most of what did poorly last year is doing great this year (corn, onions, cabbage). And the opposite is true, too.  Growing tomatoes successfully remains a challenge for me. Is it me or the soil? This year we have the drip watering system, so we have been very consistent with watering. I also augmented the soil with calcium. Inconsistent watering and lack of calcium are the arch enemies of tomatoes. Having corrected both issues, I do not know what else I can do. Some tomatoes have rotten ends (last year’s big issue) and other tomatoes look great and are shaped well but begin to decay on the vine. Grrr. I will not give up — next year I will try different varieties.


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Beer Battered Onion Rings! (a great tempura batter for nearly any vegetable)


  • 2 extra-large white onions
  • 90 grams (3/4 cup) cornstarch
  • 32 grams (1/4 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt (not iodized table salt), plus more for finished onion rings, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (not garlic salt), optional
  • 2 – 4 fluid ounces (1/4 – 1/2 cup) beer or carbonated water
  • 1 large egg
  • Frying oil (e.g., sunflower, peanut, corn, or any other with a high smoke point). You will need enough to make 1-inch (2 cm) deep in the bottom of whatever pan you are using


  1. Peel and slice the onions horizontally into 1 cm (1/2 inch) rounds then separate the rounds into rings. Set aside
  2. In a high-sided pan, bring the oil to 400 F (200C). If you do not have a thermometer you can test the readiness by dipping a wooden toothpick into the oil. If bubbles form around the toothpick, then the oil is ready
  3. While the oil is heating, in a medium shallow bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients for the tempura batter
  4. Immediately before frying the onion rings, add the beaten egg and beer or carbonated water to the dry ingredients and whisk thoroughly. Start with 1/4 cup of the beer or carbonated water, and use more as needed until you achieve a batter that leaves ribbons when poured from a spoon into the bowl
  5. Using a fork, dip and flip each onion ring into the batter and tap the onion ring on the side of the bowl to remove excess batter. Then, carefully place several rings into the oil. Flip them with the fork when you can see that the underside is golden. Work in batches. Placed fried rings onto a large platter lined with newspaper or paper towels. Sprinkle salt on fried rings as desired

Author: gregnelsoncooks

Visit weekly for original and adapted recipes as well as cooking tips to make your kitchen life easier — and more delicious! I’ll include simple, straight forward instructions along with recipes that are truly worth your time making. And, recipes that elevate the familiar and introduce you to the new and unexpected.

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