How to Spice up your Onions - a Classic Steak Side

Ever wonder how you can spice up that steak night? When you love steak (like we do), you may have it once a month, or even once a week. Sometimes that means you end up in a too-familiar steak night routine. 

At our house, fried onions are a big part of steak night. Typically we slice up onions in rings, and slowly sizzle them with big white mushrooms in a generous dollop of butter. While the delectable scent of butter and onions wafts through the house, we normally pour a glass of red wine to properly declare that it is the start of steak night.

But recently, our steak sides needed a pick-me-up, a bit of a change. And boy, have we found it. This onion recipe is delicious on its own. But added to a plate of grilled Diablo ribeyes, nestled next to some steaming hot new potatoes and butter drenched asparagus, this recipe is the spice and crispy pop that we were looking for. It was simple, it was quick, and awesome. It provided a new texture and flavour that we will be adding to our repertoire for steak nights to come!

It is from Chef Roger Mooking, award-winning musician and host of Everyday Exotic, via

The ingredients list is short (which we love):

  • 2 sweet onions, halved and thinly sliced on a mandolin
  • Cold water, as needed
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • Five-spice powder
  • Kosher salt

Chef Roger Mooking recommends combining the onions and enough cold water to cover, and letting them soak for 10 minutes. Then, in a large heavy-bottomed pot, pour enough vegetable oil to fill the pan about a third of the way. Heat over medium heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 365 degrees F. Please be careful not to splatter any on yourself, wear your apron!

Before doing anything else, prepare a cookie sheet or tray lined with paper towels, and put the cornstarch in a shallow dish.

Take those soaking onions out of the water, and pat them dry. Dredge them in the cornstarch, shaking off the excess, and in batches, add them to the hot oil. Be sure to follow the Chef’s direction to move the onions around while they are in the oil because they will clump otherwise (oops).

Take the onions out of the oil to the paper towel-lined tray when they are golden. Don’t let them turn brown. The secret is that they continue to change colour after they’ve been taken out of the oil. Season the onions with the five-spice powder, and salt, until they taste heavenly.

Then try it and tell us if you love them too!!

Team Diablo


Lynne Poirier
Lynne Poirier


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