Crispy onion strips

Debra Erickson, Executive Chef and founder of The Blind Kitchen, note the bump dot identifying the pepper cellar jar she is holding

A Chef Debra Inspiration!

The crispy onion strips recipe is designed to be a teaching tool for cooks who are returning to their kitchens. If you are already comfortable cooking with vision loss, you may not need the details in the included links. If you are new to our tools and new to cooking with vision loss, these recipes as written and their links will be helpful. The links will take you to the description, including a video, of the tools being used.

I suggest you make twice as many of these crispy onion strips as you think you need—they have a way of disappearing!

Yield: 2 cups of fried onion strips


1 pound onion or shallots of your choice
2 cups milk (either whole milk or buttermilk)
1 and one-half cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder (divided)
1 teaspoon onion powder (divided)
1-half teaspoon paprika (divided)
1-half teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional) (divided)
1 teaspoon salt (divided)
32 ounces of vegetable oil (enough to deep fry)

Tool: Adaptive Measuring Cups and Spoons

The Blind Kitchen hints for this recipe:

  • Work over a work tray at every opportunity to stay organized and contain possible spills.
  • You are going to season the milk and the flour with the same spices, but in different bowls. It is efficient to have the bowls side-by-side and add the spices to each.
  • Place the bowls of milk and flour right next to each other so there is less chance that food will drip as you transfer from bowl to bowl.
  • The same goes for placing the floured onion strip on the metal pan with the rack—make sure the bowl of flour is right next to the rack or even on the rack to avoid a flour mess on your counter.
  • Do not use your work trays for the paper towels or for receiving the floured onion strips before baking. They are a good size, but when it comes time to cook the onion strips, you will want the pans to be made of metal to be able to place them as close to the hot oil as you safely can—the trays will melt if exposed to high heat.
  • When it comes time to deep fry, make sure the floured onions are as close to the oil as you can safely get. Also, before you deep fry, make sure the paper towel-lined sheet pan is close to the other side of the oil to receive the deep-fried strips and prevent grease from dripping as you transfer them.
  • Add the floured onion strips to the oil in small batches. Overcrowding the oil will lower the temperature and may cause the strips to soak up the grease instead of crisping them. Also, the strips need to move freely in the oil or they will stick together while they cook and when you go to break them apart there will be bare spaces instead of crust where they stuck together.

Tool: Work Trays


Put 2 cups of milk in a large bowl.
Put 1 and one-half cups flour in another large bowl.

Season each of the bowls with:

  • 1-half teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1-half teaspoon onion powder
  • 1-half teaspoon salt
  • 1-quarter teaspoon paprika
  • 1-quarter teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Tools: Adaptive Measuring Cups and Spoons and WayAround Tags (Learn more: Read Chef Debra’s post, Labeling Clothing. Find out more about WayAround by going to their website.)

Attach a WayAround tag to a can of food with a rubber band. You can then identify it at a later date.
Using WayAround labeling will make it easy to find the correct item in your pantry.

Stir each well and set aside.

Tool: Long Wood Spoon

Peel and slice onions into very thin slices or rings as you prefer.

Tools: Cut Glove and Slicing Guide

Transfer the onion strips to the seasoned milk bowl and allow them to soak for at least 30 minutes.

Tool: Bench Scraper

Drain onions well. Discard the milk unless making a pan gravy—this would add lovely flavoring and creaminess.

Tool: Side Strainer

Insert a rack into a rimmed baking sheet.
Toss the drained onions in the flour mixture and remove to the rack spacing them away from each other so the flour does not clump and they do not stick together.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels to receive the deep-fried onion strips to absorb excess grease.
Heat your vegetable oil to 360 degrees. Lower one onion strip into the oil. You should hear it sizzle immediately. Adjust the heat to the lowest temperature that you can to get the immediate sizzle.

Tools: Talking Thermometer and Thermometer Clip

Add the floured onion strips to the oil in small batches.

Tool: Spider

Listen and smell to monitor the cooking process. At 350 to 375 degrees it should take about 4 to 6 minutes depending on how thick or thin the onions are. When they are done remove them from the oil and allow them to drain on the paper towel-lined baking pan.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Tool: Salt Cellar