Recipe 56: Blossoming Onion w/ Dipping Sauce

This is a short-but-sweet kind of post.

I love those amazing deep-fried blooming/blossoming onion appetizers that they have at steak houses. They consist of a sweet onion (we used a small vidalia), that’s cut so that the slices form petals. This is then breaded and deep friend to form a beautiful flower that is made up of little pieces of battered and fried onion. Paired with a horseradish & mayo dipping sauce, it’s positively heavenly.

I had a craving, so after a cursory internet search, I came upon this recipe here:

Blooming Onion and Dipping Sauce

And while I followed the recipe (I doubled the breading mixture, per comments), I felt that a little photo-tour would help with those like me who were attempting this deliciousness for the first time.

Recipe 56: Blossoming Onion w/ Dipping Sauce

Total time: 1 hour

Serves: 2-4 based on how large your onion is


Dipping Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp Cream-Style Horseradish Sauce
  • 1/3 tsp Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 pinch Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/3 tsp Cayenne Pepper


  • 1 Egg
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 cup AP Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/3 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/8 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1/8 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 large Sweet Onion (vidalia is tasty…)
  • 3-4 cups Vegetable Oil for deep frying


Using a sharp knife, cut 1/2″ from top and bottom of onion. Set your onion between some tongs or two 1/4″ thick cutting boards so you can start making your 16 cuts without going all the way through the petals. Start by cutting an ‘X’ in the onion, forming 4 quarters. Continue making more equal cuts until you get 16 segments or “petals”.

Boil some water and in the meantime, run a wooden skewer through the base of the onion (through the portion that is uncut). Using kitchen scissors, cut this skewer down until only 1/2″ is sticking our on either end. This will help you maneuver the onion through the various steps.

Submerge the onion into the boiling water for 1-2 minutes to start the petals opening. Prepare a bowl with ice water to put the onion in immediately following the boiling step. Allow to soak in cold water for 30-45 minutes. (The petals should start to open up more).

Prepare your breading mixture and your egg mixture, and start heating your oil. Your goal is 350F-360F. I used a candy thermometer/deep fry thermometer to snap onto the side of my sauce pan.

When the onion is done soaking, dip it into the egg mixture and then the breading mixture. Shake it around carefully to ensure an even coat. Allow it to “cure” for a minute or 2 and then repeat at least one more time.

By this time, your oil should be good and hot. Very carefully lower your onion into the hot oil using tongs or a large slotted spoon. You want to cook it face down for a few minutes and then flip it over and continue frying until golden brown. While this is working its magic, prepare your dipping sauce. We added a bit more horseradish since we love spicy here.

Once golden brown, remove from the oil and place only a wire rack over some paper towels (face-down to ensure you don’t carry extra oil out). Plate it once it’s cool with a little dish of dipping sauce. I reccommend using a shot glass to hold the sauce and making a pit in the center of your onion just like the restaurant style.


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