Given the opportunity, I’ll order onion rings over french fries 2/3 of the time. Golden, crisp, irresistible, and they play right into my love of onions in all forms. I rarely make onion rings at home because I rarely deep fry at home (asian pride prevents me from getting a deep fryer – I have to fry things via the time honored wok method). Last week, though, we decided to have sloppy joe night, and few things go better with sloppy joes than onion rings or french fries… and I’d rather make onion rings.
This batter is incredibly light without needing leavening, due to the separation of the egg white and incorporation of beer. Be sure to peel off the inner membrane between layers of the onion or they may stick to the flour and cause issues during battering.

great puffy batter
from the New York Times Menu Cook Book

can be used for battering anything, but used in this case for onion rings

Slice onions to 1/4 inch thickness and separate rings. Mix 1 egg yolk with 1/2 cup flour, salt and pepper, gently incorporate 1/4 cup beer (set aside remaining beer for more important purposes). In another bowl, beat egg white until stiff. Heat oil in pan until shimmering. Dust onion rings lightly with flour to absorb moisture. Gently fold egg white into the beer/flour mixture, dip onion rings into batter and fry until golden.