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Smoked Paprika Onion Rings

Cook Time:
25 mins
Prep Time:
15 mins

Chef notes

Entrees with big bold flavors, such as artisanal sausages, burgers and roast dinners, need a side dish that will stand up to those flavors with bold flavors of its own and a great textural difference. With these onion rings, smoked paprika pairs so beautifully (and the combination of those two ingredients actually enhances many dishes) and makes them disappear as fast as I can make them. And while you technically don't need a dipping sauce, a little ranch never hurt anyone!

Technique tip: Keep the oil temp medium-high (around 355 F, if you are using a thermometer). Do not burn the onions: Moderate heat and flipping is key!

Swap option: White or yellow Spanish onions are good substitutes for Vidalia onions, as are Maui and Walla Walla. Cornflake crumbs work well in place of panko.

Special equipment: A mandolin slicer is not necessary but will make both slicing the onion and keeping the slices uniform much easier.


  • 3 Vidalia onions (or other sweet onion), peeled
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons sweet smoked paprika
  • vegetable or peanut oil, for deep frying
  • kosher salt, to taste



Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, slice the onions into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Separate the rounds into rings.


Place the flour, beaten eggs and panko in three separate shallow bowls. Mix a tablespoon of paprika in each bowl.


Dredge the onion rings first in the flour, then in the eggs and finally in the panko. Place the dredged rings on a baking sheet and allow the coating to set for 10 minutes.


In a large pot set over medium-high heat, bring about 4 inches of oil to 365 F (use a deep-frying or candy thermometer to check the temperature).


Line a separate baking sheet with paper towels. Working in batches, fry the onion rings until golden-brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. When done, the rings should float to the surface of the oil. Transfer each batch of fried rings to the prepared baking sheet and season with salt.


Keep the finished onion rings warm under layers of paper towels as you cook the remaining batches. Serve hot.

From "Straight Up Tasty: Meals, Memories and Mouthfuls from My Travels" by Adam Richman. Published by Clarkson Potter © 2015.