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Outback Steakhouse Bloomin Onion

By Todd Wilbur


Score: 3.67. Votes: 3
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Menu Description: "An Outback Ab-Original from Russell's Marina Bay."

If you go to an Outback Steakhouse expecting exotic Aussie prairie food that someone like Crocodile Dundee would have enjoyed, you're gonna be a bit disappointed, mate. Except for a little Australia-themed paraphernalia on the walls, like boomerangs and pictures of kangaroos, the restaurant chain is about as "down under" as McDonald's is Scottish. The three founders, Tim Gannon, Chris Sullivan, and Bob Basham, are all U.S. boys. And the menu, which is about 60 percent beef, contains mainly American fare with cute Australian names like The Melbourne, Jackeroo Chops, and Chicken on the Barbie.

The founders say they chose the Aussie themes because "Most Australians are fun-loving and gregarious people and very casual people. We thought that's exactly the kind of friendliness and atmosphere we want to have in our restaurants."

In only six years, Outback Steakhouse has become the number one steakhouse chain—in part because of the Bloomin' Onion: a large, deep-fried onion sliced to look like a flower in bloom that was created by one of the restaurant's founders. What makes the appetizer so appealing besides its flowery appearance is the onion's crispy spiced coating, along with with the delicious dipping sauce, cleverly presented in the center of the onion.

The restaurant uses a special device to make the slicing process easier, but you can make the incisions with a sharp knife. It just takes a steady hand and a bit of care. This is how they did it in the early days of the chain.

Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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Dipping Sauce
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons cream-style horseradish
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch ground black pepper
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
The Onion
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 giant Spanish onion (3/4 pound or more)
_main
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Do This
    • Restaurant/Brand
      Outback Steakhouse
    • Instructions

      1. Prepare the dipping sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Keep the sauce covered in your refrigerator until needed.

      2. Beat the egg and combine it with the milk in a medium bowl big enough to hold the onion.

      3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, peppers, paprika, oregano, thyme, and cumin.

      4. Now it's time to slice the onion—this is the trickiest step. First slice 3/4 inch to 1 inch off the stem end of the onion. Remove the papery skin. Now use a very sharp, large knife to slice the onion several times down the center to create the "petals" of the completed onion. First slice through the center of the onion to about three-fourths of the way down. Turn the onion 90 degrees and slice it again in an "x" across the first slice. Keep slicing the sections in half, very carefully, until you've cut the onion 16 times. Do not cut down the bottom. The last 8 slices are a little hairy, just use a steady hand and don't worry if your onion doesn't look like a perfect flower. It'll still taste good. Use a thin knife to cut a 1-inch diameter core out of the middle of the onion.

      5. Spread the "petals" of the onion apart. The onion sections tend to stick together, so you'll want to separate them to make coating easier.

      6. Dip the onion in the milk mixture, and then coat it liberally with the dry ingredients. Again separate the "petals" and sprinkle the dry coating between them. Once you're sure the onion is well-coated, dip it back into the wet mixture and into the dry coating again. This double dipping makes sure you have a well-coated onion because some of the coating tends to wash off when you fry. Let the onion rest in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes while you get the oil ready.

      7. Heat oil in a deep fryer or deep pot to 350 degrees F. Make sure you use enough oil to completely cover the onion when it fries.

      8. Fry the onion right side up in the oil for 10 minutes or until it turns brown.

      9. When the onion has browned, remove it from the oil and let it drain on a rack or paper towels.

      10. Open the onion wider from the center so that you can put a small dish of the dipping sauce in the center. You may also use plain ketchup.

      Serves 2 to 4.

Reviews
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Score: 3.67. Votes: 3
Rating of votes (3)
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sandra wilson
Aug 19, 2019, 05:15

This is a very good recipe but the better onion to use is a large white onion ( it's firmer) and after cutting it soak onion in a bowl of ice water.Then drain and continue on with recipe.

Jim
Mar 8, 2015, 22:00

I slice my onion then microwave until onion is halfway cooked. Then dry off batter fry works like a charm.

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