Use these crispy smoked paprika onion straws to top sandwiches, salads, casseroles, or simply as a unique alternative to onion rings! They’re so light and airy, easy to make, and the smoked paprika adds the perfect flavorful kick.
This is kind of a surprise post for me. I wasn’t planning to share these onion straws (strings?), but then I realized that we used them to take pictures of The Godfather’s Burgers, and we happened to use the crispy onion straws on the burgers that day along with bacon, cheddar, and candied jalapenos. The burgers were amazing, and the light crisp crunch of the onion straws with the soft bread and the juicy burger draped just-so with cheese was summer perfection in handheld form. So how rude of me not to share this recipe, right? I would be depriving you of a key piece to building that exact burger with the Godfather’s burger patty recipe if you were so inclined. Almost unforgivable. Almost.
Of course, you don’t have to use these in burgers. They’d make steak look fancy, they’re fun on salads, you can dip them in ketchup because the smell of smoked paprika and onion together beckons to you, whatever feels right at the time. These are just something you need in your recipe box and you’ll know when the time is right to make them.
Feel free to scale the recipe a bit to make it as large or small as needed. When I’m making a bigger batch, I keep the already fried onions warm in an oven that’s been heated to the lowest possible temperature and then turned off. It’s the easiest way I’ve found to keep the onions crispy and slightly warm when preparing for a crowd. A mandolin slicer comes in handy to cut the onions as long as you have a blade that will get the slices very very thin. If you don’t (I don’t), use a good chef’s knife (we recently invested in this one) so you can cut the slices by hand. You should be able to see the knife through the onion with each slice.
- 1 large sweet onion
- 1½ cups buttermilk
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 3-4 cups oil for frying
- Slice the onion very very thin and place into a large bowl with the buttermilk. Allow the onions to soak while you heat your oil in a frying pan set over medium high heat.
- Line a baking sheet with paper towels or a brown paper bag to soak up the grease.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and smoked paprika.
- When the oil is ready, take a small batch of the onions out of the buttermilk, shake off excess or pat on paper towels, then place into the flour. Stir to coat, shake off excess, and place into the oil.
- Fry the onion straws for 2-3 minutes until light golden brown and then remove to the paper towel lined baking sheet to drain.
- Repeat with the remaining onion, working in batches that don't crowd the frying pan.
- Serve immediately.