Beer Battered Onion Rings or Battered Onion Rings?

All of the sudden I got a craving for the onion rings I get at my favorite clam shack Clam Box in Ipswich. I got an idea I would make some. I have never made them with the coating exactly like theirs, but would like to get something close.

These aren’t those beer battered onion rings. These are what I call Clam Shack onion rings. When I say Clam Box is my favorite, I mean, I have tried many, many clam shacks and nothing has come close to the quality and quantity. Their onion rings are delicious.

My husband and I split a combination plate of scallops and clams, and even though it’s pricey, it is plenty for both of us. I always get an extra side of onion rings…they are the best!

I was sad to read that owner Chickie passed away in 2020. She left the Clam Box to her son Dimitri, and he passed away about a year later. It is now owned by Chickie’s daughter in law, Johanna. Until I just read this, I would have never known any of this as the quality of the food has not changed one bit. She is keeping Chickie’s legacy alive and well.  I give Clam Box a 5 star rating!

I see the tourists go in and order separate plates not knowing how big their plates are. No doubt, they take a doggie bag home. We try to go as much as we can in the off season, as the lines in season are atrocious. But sometimes you just have to have those delicious clams and scallops.

I’ve seen recipes for the clam batter. But none for the onion rings. I mean the onion rings that have the same type batter as the clams. Not that shiny, beer batter that holds all the grease stuff.

I figure the beginning is a good place to start.

From the little I’ve read, the bare onion rings are coated in evaporated milk (or I imagine you could use buttermilk). Then they are dipped in a mixture of corn flour and pastry or cake flour. I decided to use a ratio of 3 parts corn flour and one part pastry flour. Next time I may make the ratio 2 parts each, just to see the result.

I also read that they use a combination of beef fat and vegetable oil. They didn’t say the ratio, so I used 1 part beef tallow to 2 parts vegetable oil.

I used a tall but narrow circular pan, so I could get the depth to fry but not use a ton of oil. Beef tallow is pretty expensive.

The results were pretty good for my first attempt.

I used the this mandoline to cut the onions, and I think they came out a little thin for my liking. I’ll just make them thicker next time. But pretty good none the less. A mandoline is fairly inexpensive and a time saver in the kitchen.

I also tried some scallops the same way but the coating seemed to want to fall off. I think the scallops were too wet, not sure.

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Battered “Clam Shack style” Onion Rings

  • Author: Afoodieaffair


Deliciously crispy onion rings.



11/2 cups corn flour
1/2 cup pastry flour
I large onion, sliced and rings separated
1 can Evaporated milk
1 cup beef tallow
2 cups vegetable oil


Heat the oil to approx. 365 degrees F.

Mix the two flours together in one bowl.

Put the evaporated milk in another bowl.

Peel the onion, slice and separate the rings.

Dip rings separately into milk and then flour mixture.

Fry until golden about 5 minutes.


I used a deep saucepan because I didn’t want to use a ton of oil. You can increase the amount of oil, just use a 2 to 1 ratio of vegetable oil and beef tallow.

You can substitute buttermilk for the evaporated milk.

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