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How to Cut a Blooming Onion: Step-by-Step Guide

Onions just got a major upgrade: rather than making traditional rings and straws, why not fry the whole thing up: blossomed, marinated, floured and fried. The famous blooming onion is a delicious new way of making fried onions. Although you have to forget to count calories to devour this culinary perfection.  

When making this masterpiece, the only main thing that you need to learn is how to cut a blooming onion. Don’t worry, our detailed instructions have got you covered. Here is a brief overview of how to cut a blooming onion:

How to cut a blooming onion:

  1. Peel the onion.
  2. Slice the onion from the root.
  3. Slice onion into four quarters half inch away from root.
  4. Slice onions further in between 3-4 times.
  5. Spread out petals.

We will be covering these steps in greater detail further in the article. First, for those who have no idea what a blooming onion is, here is what you need to know:

What is a blooming onion?

A blooming onion, also known to many as onion bloom, onion mum, onion flower, and even onion blossom, is a culinary dish made out of a single, large onion that has been cut in a way that it resembles a flower.

blomming onion and ranch dressing on a plate

The dish is cut in the shape of a flower or blossomed, battered and deep-fried, and finally served with a side of signature dipping sauces. It is a dish high in calories, so you might want to go easy on yourself.

The blooming onion has been made in the cooking arena as early as the 1940’s. However, the modern version entails cooking or frying the onion bloom which wasn’t done earlier.

Outback Steakhouse, an American steakhouse having multiple chains throughout the US, claims to be the mastermind behind the famous bloomin’ onion recipe.

Let’s get down to mastering the art of cutting a blooming onion:

How to cut a blooming onion

Before proceeding to cutting a blooming onion, you need to select the right kind to get the best results.

Which onion to use?

  • Pick an onion that is yellow or white.
  • The onion must also be large. The larger the onion, the larger petals you can get out of it. In case the petals are small, there is a chance that when they are fried, they turn into wilted crispy batter bits.
  • A cannonball onion that features good quality large bulbs, or sweet onion varieties such as Vidalia work great for blooming onions, so if you can, get your hands on one of these.

Tools needed

Handpicked for you

True cutting power in the palm of your hand

For cutting an onion in the shape of a blooming onion, you need to cut it such that it resembles a flower. Here is what you need to do:

Step 1. Peel the onion

Start by peeling the onion skin with your hands. Then cut both sides of the onion tip till it becomes flat.

Step 1 of cutting blooming onion is to peel off the skin

Step 2. Quarter the onion

Use your sharp knife to cut the onion in four quarters, half inch away from the root.

quarter the onion

Step 3. Rotate and make small cuts

Make vertical cuts in between the quarters a number of times, rotating it around the axis to allow easy cutting. These numbers depend on the size of onion you are using, and should render you about 3-6mm petals each.

Step 3 make thin slices into the onion to make blooming onion petals

Step 4. Spread the onion

Flip the onion on the cutting board, then gently open and spread out the petals of the onion.

step 4 flip and spread the blooming onion

Tips for cutting a blooming onion

  • The root must be kept intact so make sure you don’t cut all the way through.
  • The vertical cuts must be made with the bottom of the onion intact to allow spreading of the petals.
  • Instead of spreading out the petals by hand immediately, soak the onion in ice water for about two hours. This will allow natural spreading and avoid any possible petal breakage.

If you’re looking for a hassle free onion bloom cutting procedure, simply buy a blooming onion cutter. A blooming onion cutter allows cutting onion flowers by coring out the onion centre.

How to use a blooming onion cutter

  1. Peel the onion.
  2. Slice the onion stem half inch off the top whilst keeping the root intact.
  3. Use the onion corer to place it in the core of the onion. Keep turning the corer till you stop feeling any resistance. Remove the corer.
  4. Next, place the onion on the onion holder of the blooming onion cutter from the part you have just cored.
  5. Lift up the cutting blades of the cutter approximately six inches above the onion.
  6. Quickly slam down the cutting blades with a forceful push to allow blossoming of the petals.
  7. Cut off the onion stem with a knife.
  8. Tap on the onion a few times to release the onion from the cutter.

How to make blooming onion

Now that we are finally done with learning how to cut a blooming onion, let’s proceed to make the finger licking dish. Brace yourselves, it’s going to be one heck of a messy endeavour:

Items needed

  • Large plastic bag (optional)
  • Plastic bowl
  • All-purpose flour
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Spices to taste ( oregano, chilli powder, cumin, salt and pepper etc)

Step by step instructions

  1. Put the spices and all-purpose flour into the plastic bag or bowl.
  2. Place the onion inside and seal the plastic bag or dip it in the bowl.
  3. Gently shake the bag or roll the onion in the mix to cover the onion with the flour and spice mix.
  4. Use your fingers to coat in between the petals.
  5. Dunk the onion in the milk and egg mixture that you’ve made in the bowl.
  6. Remove the onion from the bowl and place the onion back into the flour and spices bag.
  7. Shake off excess flour when coated.
  8. Repeat dunking in the milk and egg mixture, then coat it back in the flour mix for thorough coating.
  9. Shake off excess flour once more.
  10. Heat oil in a deep fryer at about 190 to 200℃.
  11. Meanwhile, place the onion for ten minutes in the freezer.
  12. Fry the onion in the oil until brown and crispy, usually takes a few minutes.
  13. Place the fried onion on paper towels to drain excess oil.

Blooming onion dipping sauce

dipping sauce

There are a variety of sauces that can be made to serve along with the blooming onion. Some of our personal favourites are the sriracha sauce, BBQ mayo sauce, and the classic bloomin’ onion dipping sauce.


Can you bake a blooming onion instead of frying it?

The answer is yes, you may. However, it’s not going to be as crispy and tasty as the fried version.

How can you air-fry a blooming onion?

Follow the usual steps for battering and coating the onion. Next, spray the onion with cooking spray and place it with the root side down. Heat the onion for about 9-10 minutes at 400 degrees. Timings may vary with different air fryer models so keep a lookout after five minutes.

How many calories does a standard Outback Steakhouse blooming onion hold?

The blooming onion contains more than 800 calories according to research. This does not even include the dipping sauce.


Okay folks. That’s all about blooming onions for now. We hope you enjoyed going through the details as much as we did putting them down for you. Now that you’ve learned how to cut a blooming onion and then proceeded to learn how to make one, let’s get to some blooming onion frying! Interested in more how-to’s, knife skills, and knife 101s? Discover our articles here.

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