The Bloomin’ Onion is a deep-fried onion appetizer that was first popularized by the American steakhouse chain Outback Steakhouse in the late 1980s. Like most food fads, the Bloomin’ Onion is making a comeback in restaurants and home kitchens alike. This recipe, one of many such copycat versions that have been developed for the home cook over the years, was written by cookbook author Lina Chang in her book Copycat Recipes: Making Outback Steakhouse’s Most Popular Recipes at Home. What’s your favorite thing about Outback Steakhouse? There’s a good chance it’s this delicious appetizer known as the Bloomin’ Onion. Here’s how you can make it at home.
- Prepare the sauce by combining all the ingredients. Cover and keep it refrigerated until ready to use.
- Peel the onion and place it on a cutting board. Slice off the top half inch or so.
- Turn the onion cut side down on the cutting board and, starting from about half an inch from the root, cut downward all the way through. Start by making four even sections, then divide these to get a total of 16 segments.
- Heat the oil in a high-sided pot.
- Turn the onion over and gently separate the outer slices.
- Combine the flour, cayenne, paprika, thyme, oregano, cumin, and black pepper.
- Place the onion in a bowl with high sides. Pour all the flour mixture over the onion and cover the bowl. Shake from side to side to ensure that all surfaces of the onion are coated.
- Whisk the eggs with the milk, and carefully submerge the onion in the egg mixture. Let any excess drip off, then flour it again.
- When the oil reaches 400°F, carefully lower the onion in, cut side down. Keep the oil at about 350°F, and after 3–4 minutes, turn the onion over. Cook another 3–4 minutes, until golden.
- Serve with dipping sauce.
Mahira Rivers is a freelance restaurant critic and food writer in New York. She was previously an anonymous inspector for the Michelin Guides in North America. More recently, she has contributed to The New York Times’ Hungry City column, reviewing New York City’s great unsung restaurants.