The “Blooming Onion” is arguably the best appetizer at Outback Steakhouse, but as you could probably guess, it’s far from vegan-friendly – both the batter and the dipping sauce contain dairy and eggs – so we decided to veganize it! Therefore if you and your friends plan a chill evening gathering and lack vegan snack ideas, don’t worry!
First of all, I want to share an incredible experience caused by this blooming onion recipe. I know for a fact that you’ll be as surprised as we were when you’ll find out about it! Therefore, while doing research on it, we found a lot of conflicting information. There seemed to be some confusion over the exact method of preparation and the ingredients of the sauce. So, we started to look for some exact answers.
Jokingly, we called up Outback Steakhouse and asked them how they make it. As you may also think, we figured they would probably tell us to get lost. However, much to our surprise, they actually told us exactly how they prepare it, including how they made the sauce! How amazing is that!
Rockin’ the Vegan Blooming Onion Recipe with Dipping Sauce: TIPS
- Apart from veganizing the ingredients, we also modified the preparation a bit to make this an “at-home” version. We assume, that like us, most people don’t have a deep fryer with a basket, which is what you need if you want to make it exactly like the Blooming Onion you’d get at Outback. However, you can still get pretty good results by frying it in a pot of oil on the stovetop. The only difference, really, is that you’ll lose some of the pedals and batter from over-handling it. Believe me, getting it in and out of the pot without a basket is a precarious process, to say the least.
- Also, you can simplify the process even further by using an onion blossom cutter. It’s a simple contraption that cuts the onion perfectly for you. The cheap ones cost about $5 to $10 and have mixed reviews, but the industrial ones used in restaurants cost up to $400! Of course, professional-grade cutters are made to do what they do all day, every day for years and years. So, we decided a simple kitchen knife would be just fine for us. Just do it carefully.
- Last but not least, we also learned that bigger is not better. To rock this recipe, we bought a massive onion from the farmers market, and we thought it was going to be perfect for a vegan Blooming Onion recipe because of its size. However, we now know we would have gotten better results from a much smaller onion – at least half the size or smaller. You can see the onion we used in the photos below. It was 2 lb!
Vegan and Healthy Blooming Onion with Dipping Sauce: RECIPE
Crispy fried blooming onion with a zesty restaurant-style dipping sauce.
- 1 medium onion
- 1/2 cup vegan mayo
- 1/2 cup vegan sour cream
- 2 tbsp horseradish*
- 1/3 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 cup unsweetened soy milk
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 2 cups oil for frying
- Prepare your onion by cutting off 1 inch from the top of the onion (not the root end).
- Peel off the outer layers.
- Place the onion cut side down.
- Starting 1/2 inch from the root, slice all the way down to the board.
- Repeat to make 3 more evenly spaced cuts around the onion.
- Continue cutting all the way around the onion until you have about 16 cuts.
- In a large bowl, combine the unsweetened soy milk and apple cider vinegar.
- In a separate large bowl, combine the flour, salt, cayenne pepper, paprika, black pepper and oregano.
- Place the onion in the bowl with the flour mixture and evenly coat on all sides, making sure to get in between each petal.
- Tap the onion to remove any excess flour and place in the bowl with the soy milk mixture.
- Spoon the soy milk mixture all over the onion to make sure you are getting in between the individual petals.
- Place the onion back in the flour mixture and again coat it evenly, making sure to get in between each petal.
- Repeat the soy milk step and then the flour mixture step again to make sure you are getting batter all over the onion.
- Place the onion on a plate and freeze for about an hour.
- Meanwhile, prepare the dipping sauce by combining the vegan mayo, vegan sour cream, horseradish, paprika, salt, oregano, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
- Refrigerate sauce until ready to eat.
- Once the onion has been in the freezer for an hour, add oil to a large pot over medium heat.
- When the oil is hot, carefully add the onion, petals down into the oil.
- Fry on each side about 6-8 minutes, depending on onion size, until golden brown.
- Drain on a paper towel lined plate, petals down, and serve while hot.
After making this recipe, I learned a few things that I'd like to share that would make the whole experience easier and turn out better. First, I learned that the bigger the onion, the harder it is to work with. I went with a very large 2 lb. onion, but if I were to do this recipe again, I would definitely choose a smaller onion. It was way too hard to work with such a large onion, and it didn't cook all the way through in the middle.
Second, I should have been more thorough and coated the onion twice with both the flour mixture and the soy milk mixture. I did not repeat the batter steps twice, but next time I will because I did not anticipate how much batter would come off during the frying.
Another thing I learned was that different brands of horseradish are spicier than others. I started with 2 tbsp of horseradish in the dipping sauce, but ended up adding 3 more tbsp to get the level of heat I wanted. I would recommend starting with 2 tbsp and tasting it to get to the level you like.
Suggested Read: VEGGIE SUBS WITH WHITE BEAN PÂTÉ AND HORSERADISH DRESSING
All in all, this vegan blooming onion is a handful of ingredients, baked, and crispy, and the sauce is like pure happiness. Also, it is a much healthier version than the original, great for entertaining, with no greasy mess, and perfect for any occasion! So, why any vegan won’t give it a try?
Finally, please keep us posted in the comment section below with all your results with the vegan Blooming Onion recipe. You know how excited we get when we hear from you! Also, do not hesitate to ask any further questions on this topic and to share it with all your loved ones. I bet they won’t even tell that it’s a vegan snack considering its incredible taste!
If you find this article helpful, please let us know in the comments below. And if you have any more questions about what other foods are vegan or not, leave a message in the comments section and we’ll be very happy to address it for you. You could also be raising questions about some chemicals like Calcium Lactate if it is vegan or not, and simple candies too like Life Savers.
Learn more vegan-related topics like cooking vegan dishes tutorials, vegan options on restaurant menus, and information about a certain food if it’s vegan or not, all of them on our website.
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