When we were growing up, a favourite family meal was a trip to Damon‘s in Lincoln, a literal rib shack with curved rib-shaped iron girders on the roof. Although the ribs took centre stage, the main reason to go was to get our chops around their famous onion loaf. A greasy delight of batted deep fried onion rings shaped into a loaf – as good and as dirty as it sounds.
These shallot flowers are a hybrid variation of that memory and blooming onion flowers, where an entire onion is sliced, battered and fried until it opens out like a savoury chrystanthemum.
Shallots are a little ‘daintier’ – if only because they’re smaller than onions! They still pack crispy, allium goodness. You can whip up a batch as a beer snack or an alternative side dish to classic onion rings.
Crispy Shallot Flowers
- Deep-fat fryer or deep sauce pan.
- 5 Echalion/Banana Shallots
- Vegetable Oil for deep frying
- 200 g Plain Flour
- 2 tsp Garlic Granules
- 1 tsp Celery Salt
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- ½ tsp White Pepper
- 1 tsp Gochugaru Chilli Flakes optional
- 1 Egg large
- 50 ml Milk
- 1 tsp Salt
- Mix the ingredients for the spiced flour in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, milk and salt.
- Prepare the shallots. Slice the shallots completely in half length ways. Slice the hairy end off and slice only the hardest part of the root end – it's important to keep the root in tact as this will ensure the layers are held together. Peel off the skin.
- Slice the peeled shallot length-ways several times, being careful to stop short of the end of the root. You want to have as many slices as you can so that the shallot will fan out, but be held together at the root.
- Put the shallots in the batter base mix and let them soak while you heat the oil.
- Heat the oil to 160°c.
- Dip the soaked shallots into the spiced flour mix, trying to get flour between the individual slices. The shallots will be delicate so handle them lightly.
- You can repeat the process to get a crunchier finish.
- Lower a couple of the coated shallots into the heated oil – don't overcrowd the pan and do not leave unattended. Fry for about ten minutes until golden and crispy. Once cooked, place on to some kitchen paper to drain. Repeat in batches.
- Sprinkle with salt and some chilli flakes, if you like. Serve.