Which was my first love, Han Solo or onion rings? It may have been that vest-wearing scoundrel, but because he was only available to me on screen and in a horrible facsimile action figure, I turned my attention to onion rings.
I’ve tried all kinds: those thick, beer-battered monstrosities that tasted like doughnuts with an onion surprise, super skinny threads in the lightest of batters, the frozen-bagged minced onions in breadcrumbs. The only ones I couldn’t handle were the puffy beer-battered ones. When I was at a restaurant I always knew I could find an onion ring or string of some sort and a baked potato.
But those were in my dairy days. Since then I’ve been onion ring–free, unless you count tempura. I’ve missed them terribly, especially the ones I made myself. I would slice the onions as thin as possible then soak them in buttermilk for an hour. Then they’d go into my flour-n-spice mix, a combination of rice and wheat flours, breadcrumbs pulverized to a powder, cayenne, and seasoning salt. Sometimes I way overdid it and made myself pretty nauseated, but I’d have to say it was worth it.
Well, today I made my first vegan onion rings (again, not counting tempura). When I was making cupcakes, I realized the same apple-cider-vinegar-in-soymilk trick could work for onions. The thickening and the tang-ening were the parts of buttermilk I needed to bind the coating to the onion. So I gave it a try and it worked. I used 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in 1 cup of soymilk, then (because it was a whim) coated them using Cedar Lake all-purpose breading meal, which I got from veganessentials.com. It was a little heavy-tasting for my gentle little Walla Wallas, but it was something.