Blooming onion is one of the most popular dishes at Outback Steakhouse. The blooming onion recipe from Outback dates back to 1988. It looks amazing because the onion is separated into ‘petals’ and fried, so it resembles a flower. This dish is made for sharing and one onion can be divided into some two hundred petals!
If you’re curious how one onion can be cut into 200 petals, the answer is Outback Steakhouse uses ‘super-colossal’ onions. The restaurant chain actually uses 14 million pounds of these onions every single year.
In the beginning, Outback Steakhouse workers would cut the onions by hand. Now they use a special machine to speed things up. After all it takes a long time to cut 14 million pounds of onions into 200 petals apiece!
Best Copycat Recipe for Blooming Onion
So if you want to recreate the magnificent blooming onion recipe yourself at home, the great news is there is a relatively simple recipe to try. The following recipe explains how to batter the onion and cook it so you can enjoy the wonderful flavor at home instead of having to go out.
Blooming Onion Ingredients
There are three parts to making this recipe. Start off with the dipping sauce since this needs to be refrigerated for a couple hours.
This tangy sauce is made with horseradish, paprika, ketchup, oregano, and cayenne, along with plenty of mayonnaise. The sweet and spicy flavors in the sauce team beautifully with the crispy blooming onion. This sauce is known as ‘bloom sauce’ at Outback.
Cayenne, garlic, garlic, and pepper are combined with flour to make seasoned flour. The batter is a combination of flour, cornstarch, garlic, beer, paprika, salt, and pepper. The alcohol in the beer is cooked off during the cooking process but if you don’t want alcohol you can use alcohol-free beer for the batter.
Now all you need are the onions! Don’t worry, you won’t need the super-colossal ones Outback Steakhouse uses. Vidalia onions are my favorite to use here because they’re naturally sweet and I love how their sweetness pairs with the spicy batter and zingy sauce.
How to Make Authentic Outback Blooming Onion
There are already clones of this dish. You might have sampled Longhorn Steakhouse’s ‘Texas Tonion’ or Chili’s ‘Awesome Blossom Petal’ appetizer. Whether you have or not, the following recipe shows you how to prepare this famous recipe at home.
You probably don’t have a blooming onion cutter like Outback, so you will need a sharp chef’s knife instead. After cutting the tops off the onions and peeling them, you need to cut down to make wedges but don’t cut right through! The ‘petals’ should all be attached to the onion at the bottom. Take some of the middle out of the onion so it’ll have room to expand bloom-style during cooking!
Dip the onions in the seasoned flour then in the batter. Now all you have to do is deep-fry them and serve with the dipping sauce you prepared earlier. See – it’s pretty easy to make this classic Outback Steakhouse appetizer yourself!
How to Serve Blooming Onion
This is an appetizer at Outback, which means it’s typically ordered for several people to share as a first course. Since you are using smaller onions than they do, one onion in the following recipe will serve one or two, depending how hungry you are.
Sometimes it’s nice to have a bunch of appetizers for dinner rather than an appetizer then a main dish. Consider making these along with chicken wings, mashed potatoes and gravy, and mixed bean salad, for example. That would be a great meal for game day or for a lazy Sunday!
How Authentic is the Actual Recipe?
The following recipe is a great copycat version of the Outback Steakhouse appetizer. However, that’s not to say it’s an authentic Australian dish! Outback is an Australian-themed restaurant but you probably won’t find blooming onions ‘down under’ in Australia!
In fact, the steakhouse founders never visited Australia before launching the chain of restaurants. Does it really matter? Not really. Regardless of its origins, this copycat blooming onion recipe is seriously good and you must try it soon!
As long as you take your time cutting through the onions so they hold together, you shouldn’t have any problems with this recipe. It’s a good idea to fry the onions in batches unless you have a massive deep fryer. Don’t worry, they only take a couple of minutes to fry and will stay hot while you cook the rest.
- For the Seasoned Flour:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- For the Dipping Sauce:
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons creamed horseradish
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ketchup
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
- Cayenne, to taste
- Pinch of black pepper
- For the Batter:
- 4 sweet onions (eg Vidalia)
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 24 ounces beer
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
1. Combine the flour with the cayenne, garlic, paprika and black pepper to make the seasoned flour.
2. Blend the dipping sauce ingredients and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
3. Combine the flour and cornstarch with the batter seasonings until well mixed then stir in the beer.
4. Cut ¾-inch off the top of each onion and remove the peel.
5. Cut each onion into about 14 lengthwise wedges without
cutting all the way through the root.
6. Remove about 1 inch of ‘petals’ from the middle of the onion. If it’s too tight, you can soak the onion in cold water for a couple of hours to help it open up. If you do this it’s important to drain it really well.
7. Dip the prepared onions into the seasoned flour.
8. Shake any excess off gently.
9. Separate the petals and coat the onions well in the batter.
10. Fill a deep fryer with oil and heat it to between 375 and 400 degrees F.
11. Add the onions and fry for 1½ minutes.
12. Turn it over carefully and cook for 1½ minutes more or until golden.
13. Lift the Outback Style Blooming Onions out of the fryer, drain on paper towels and serve with the dipping sauce.
Amount Per Serving: Trans Fat: 20gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 384mgSodium: 456mgCarbohydrates: 120gProtein: 48g