Common fried onions are cooked by basic pan-frying or sautéing of sliced onions. This produces a fairly soft-cooked onion, which may brown some from a Maillard reaction, depending on the length of cooking and the temperature. The Philadelphia cheesesteak is a hot sandwich commonly served with sautéed onions, and they are half of the dish called liver and onions. In the Middle East, mujaddara is a dish made of lentils and rice topped with fried onions. In Indian cuisine, fried onions are one of the key ingredients for the rice dish called biryani.
Crisp fried onions are also used in biriyani for layering and garnishing.