More than just a constituent in your mirepoix base, onions are a great ingredient and flavor that deserves its own turn in the spotlight. Such is the case in some of our favorite onion-centric classics: onion rings, battered-and-deep-fried rings of the white variety that are often paired with burgers; and French onion dip, a condiment associated with being had with potato chips which is typically understood to refer to jarred, store-bought varieties (e.g.

, the Frito-Lay-branded version sold at many of Manila’s supermarket shelves) but can totally be made from scratch. Both dishes are great individually, but we say maximize the onion-y fun by fusing the two into a tasty appetizer you won’t find anywhere else.

In this recipe, we make our own French onion dip mixture with two kinds of the allium—the white variety, which we cook down in butter until caramelized and fragrant (it takes about 15 minutes to do this, but your patience will be rewarded with the promise of a sweet, nutty-tasting butter-onion medley), as well as spring onions to give the dip its telltale refreshing zing—strewn into a sour cream-cream cheese base. The entire mixture is allowed to harden in the freezer, after which it becomes firm enough to cut, like you would butter, into rings, to be breaded and given a good dunk in the deep-fryer.

What emerges from the bubbling hot pot of oil is a unique snack, offering the crunchy golden edges of onion rings that make way for the creamy, tangy French onion dip mixture that lies within. Be sure to munch on them while they’re warm; that’s when the breading’s at its crispest and the dip mixture at its almost-molten state, and the contrast between textures will have you going for piece after piece until you’re left with an empty plate. What’s great about these rings is that they’re essentially self-dipped treats—no need to lug around a separate jar of sauce, as the layer of breading acts as a carb component that helps even out the richness of the dip inside similar to a piece of toast or a cracker. The synergy between crunch and creaminess is plenty tasty on its own, but if you must cut the richness, a dollop of tangy salsa on the side doesn’t hurt.

French Onion Dip Rings

Yield: 4-6 servings
Time: 1 hour

Ingredients: French Onion Dip Mixture

  • ½ cup white onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 cup cream cheese
  • 2 tsp onion salt
  • 2 tsp dried garlic
  • 1 tbsp spring onion, chopped

Ingredients: Frying

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • oil, for deep-frying

Procedure: French Onion Dip Mixture

  1. In a pan over low heat, melt the butter.
  2. Add the diced white onion and cook until caramelized, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.
  4. Spread over a lined baking sheet and place in freezer for 30 minutes or until firm.

Procedure: Frying

  1. Take the dip out of the freezer and cut into circles with a ring cutter.
  2. Set up a breading station with the flour, egg, and breadcrumbs.
  3. Dip each ring in flour, then egg. Repeat and then finish by rolling the rings in breadcrumbs.
  4. Return to a baking sheet and freeze for 15 more minutes.
  5. Heat oil to 375 F.
  6. Fry breaded rings until golden brown.
  7. Serve.

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