Martha's Favorite Onion Rings


This recipe appears in our cookbook "Martha Stewart's Vegetables" (Clarkson Potter). Thinly layered, slightly spicy yellow onions are used to make the light, crisp rings at Balthazar in New York City. (This recipe is adapted from the restaurant's cookbook, and it is Martha's hands-down favorite.) Beer flavors the batter and adds body, thanks to the bubbles. Baking powder, a leavening agent, helps to enlarge these bubbles as the batter fries.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for sprinkling

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 cup beer, preferably lager or pilsner

  • 2 tablespoons ice water

  • Peanut oil, for frying

  • 2 medium yellow onions, cut crosswise into ½-inch-thick slices, separated into rings


  1. Whisk together 1 cup flour, the salt, white pepper, and baking powder in a bowl. Whisk in beer and ice water until combined. Place remaining cup flour in a shallow dish.

  2. Preheat oven to 200 degrees, with a baking sheet on middle rack. Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a medium pot over medium high. Dredge onions in flour, turning to coat; tap off excess. Working in batches (about 8 at a time), dip onions in batter, shaking off excess. Carefully add to hot oil. Cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with salt. Transfer to baking sheet to keep warm while cooking remaining onions. Adjust heat as necessary to keep oil at a steady temperature. Serve hot.

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