Pickled Onions

Pickled onions

Pickled onions! I’m making jars of pickled onions as Christmas gifts – they’re cheap to make, involve no actual cooking, and are always appreciated by those who like them (although of course you need to check that your intended recipient wouldn’t turn green at the thought of them). They need to be made now as they need time to mature, but once ready will keep for many months. You can use old jam jars for the rustic version, or do them nicely in kilner jars (as above). Giving them personal labels is a nice touch too.

The process takes a couple of days but you only need to be actually doing something for about an hour of that time.

Ingredients

Pickling onions or shallots.
Pickling vinegar (malt vinegar)
225g Sea Salt (not table salt)
2.8 litres/ 4 pints Water
Pickling spices. You can either just buy ready-selected pickling spices or you can put together a teaspoon each of mace, cinnamon, allspice berries, black peppercorns and 4 cloves and 1 chilli.

The Cooking

First, a note: don’t use copper or iron pans for this – the acid reacts with the metal which spoils the colour and flavour. Also, you need to sterilise your jars in order to avoid the pickles going mouldy. This is quite simple – wash them in hot soapy water and then dry them in the oven on a low heat.

Okay, to begin with you need to brine the onions. Heat the salt and water slowly until the salt has dissolved. Allow this to cool and meanwhile peel the onions. You can make them easier to peel by plunging the skin-on onions into boiling water for one minute (although to be honest, I didn’t bother. I just peeled them). Once cooled and peeled, prick the onions to allow the liquid to soak into them and put the onions in the cooled brine.

Put some kind of weight on top of the onions to make sure they’re all submerged in the brine – I used a plate with a mug full of water on top. Now you simply set it aside for a couple of days and go about your business.

After a couple of days, drain the onions and pat them dry. Pack them into your steralised jars and pour over the vinegar and sprinkle in a couple of teaspoons of the mixed pickling spices. That’s it! Ta dah!

After 4 weeks or so they should be mature enough to be edible, but you may want to wait a couple of months to be sure. Eat them yourself with some strong cheddar, or stick a bow on the jar and give them to your dad as a present. Dads love pickled onions.

84 Responses to “Pickled Onions”

  1. leosatter Says:

    I really enjoyed this post!
    These Pickled Onions sound sooo good!!!
    Just out of curiosity….Do you know where I can get quality organic/vegan ingredients online? I am now trying to order from online stores only because of various reasons…….can you help me with any suggestions??????

    There is only one place, out of all that I have tried that really stood out for true quailty, and that is Celebrityfoodds.

    If you can help me grow my list of quality services or stores, where I can buy my food, I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thank you!

    • sandyzulu Says:

      What we do in South Arica is, once the onions have been peeled, we don’t prick them, we cut an X with a knife at each end to absorb the vinegar.

    • Frances Mayo Says:

      I buy online from http://www.goodnessdirect.co.uk or .com I can’t remember which. Very good Company to deal with. I cannot use ordinary vinegar etc because of my health problems. I also use Rapudera Sugar. The only Sugar with benefits in it. Dearer than ordinary sugars but more beneficial. Check it out online. Hope that helps.

  2. 101things Says:

    Hi Leo

    Glad you like the pickled onions.

    I have to be honest and say I don’t really buy food online. I try to source all my ingredients as locally as I can and the vast majority of my food comes from my local farmer’s market. That way I get to prod and poke at it before I buy it.

    If I do buy any food online though, I’ll let you know what I think. Sorry to not be of more help.

    Fran

  3. Kenneth Says:

    Hi there,

    In Malta we just use plain vinegar and nothing else. Peel the onions, put in jars, top up with dark vinegar, close top and leave them in the sun to cook for 1 or 2 months (don’t forget that the sun in Malta can be VERY hot). When ready, they are fantastic with salads, bread with oil and tomato or with goat cheese and sun dried tomatoes. Mmmmmm delicious

  4. JANE Says:

    Thank you Kenneth! You saved my day. I thought that your simple method is the way we prepare PICKLED ONIONS. I can carry on now, as I have peeled the onions.

  5. Kodiak Says:

    I need a receipe with cups, teaspoons, and table spoons. not milliters, and grams

  6. 101things Says:

    Well, my demanding American friend, you can convert the measurements here.

  7. Welsh American Says:

    Thanks for the recipe to get started. I’ll make do with the units of measure 😉 I LOVE PICKLED ONIONS! And so will my dad I’m sure, he has a jar with his name on it.

  8. Kodiak Says:

    Thanks

  9. V Says:

    Anyone know where i can buy some pickling onions? would love to try this recipe!

  10. Old Timer Says:

    Just bought a couple of pounds of pickling onions at my local supermarket — I watch for them to show up each year, and grab them quickly. They go fast.

    My mother used to make these for my English-born father, and all of us loved them. Can’t think of a scrambled egg sandwich without pickled onions on it. Mom peeled the onions, sprinkled them with a LOT of plain salt or pickling salt if she had it, weighted them down and left them overnight. Next day, washed the salt off, put all the onions in a big earthenware crock we had (wish I still had it). She boiled up cider vinegar with pickling spices in it, then poured that over the onions in the crock, put on a lid, and stashed it away in the corner of the drainboard until the magic time she said we could eat them — I guess it was about a month or so, but it seemed forever. These onion pickles come out softly brownish, thanks to the cider vinegar.

  11. V Says:

    thanks but i can’t find them on sainsbury’s online😦

  12. V Says:

    does it work if you use shallots instead?

  13. jenny Says:

    I have made pickled onions every year using white sweet spiced vinegar over salted, washed and dried onions. They usually go a lovely soft pink and stay gloriously crunchy. This year I could not get my usual brand of Sepplets wine vinegar. I used the one Woolworths now have and my onions went a very unattractive purply brown.
    Has anyone any ideas. We love our home made pickled onions [or we used to].

  14. Rudy Colipapa Kintanar Says:

    Pickled onions are great.
    Some people say if pickled with pure coconut vinegar they have a fertility effect…..but actually this is just an anecdotal observation…not a scientific fact.
    The population of the island province of Cebu in Central Philippines is cited as “proof”. Actually it could also be the rich fish and corn diet of the Cebuanos.

  15. Alex Toronto, CANADA Says:

    Hi, thanks for the recipe. I used it to make 4 kg of french shallots and some cooking onions to experiment.

    I noticed that my hands reeked of onions for two days after peeling the onions. It took me three hours to peel the 100 or so onions. I used ski goggles to avoid the tears.

    The onions went purple in the stainless steel pot with the pickling salt. The cooking onions remained white. I rinsed the onions slightly after their 2 day bath as several other recipes called for this.

    I used balsamic, white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar and white vinegar, along with pickling spices, basil and some chili peppers flakes. I made 6 distinctive 1 litre jars.

    Why is it that these jars do not need to be placed in a hot water bath? The recipe in the Bernardin book still asks for you to can them for 10 minutes. “Complete book of home preserving : 400 delicious and creative recipes for today
    By: Kingry, Judi.”

    • Ian Says:

      I just used my new knives, there made from zirconium oxide. The onions didn’t react to the blades and I could of peeled onions all day without watering eye’s.. It’s also claimed they are anti-bacteria, anti-fouling, non-toxic and non-corrosive.

  16. Derek Still Says:

    Thank you so much for the recipe. I make a kg and am anxiously awaiting the month suggested. 8 long days to go! Reminds me of the best cook I ever knew, my Grandma in Eastbourne 60 years ago, bless her…..and Dads DO love them, I promise you.

    Thanks again fir the recipe, and also for teaching me how difficult it sometimes is to be patient.

    Dags.

  17. Ian Williams Says:

    We have recently pickled some onions and they have been in a dark place for about 2 weeks. One jar has been flavourwed with garlic and mustards seeds. Thwe problem we have found is that the onions and the garlic is turning blue. Could this please be explained and are they safe to eat. Could some one please help?

  18. Robert Thomson Says:

    I have just pickled 20Kg of onions and they are turning blue/grey in the jars. I followed a recipe that I have used for years and dont know why this is happenning.
    Can anyone help with this problem?

  19. Jamie Says:

    Thanks for the recipe. Fifty years ago, post-war British frequently made these pickles. In our house we would make onions, red cabbage with an uncle making Piccalilli. These were shared between the various relatives. Pickles were a staple of every salad bar, cold meat and cheese plate. They were not “canned”. It is, after all, a centuries old way of food preservation. I was twelve, before we bought a refrigerator. We used this method to pickle and I needed a good jog of my memory to put up a batch. It is my thought that, the “canning” method would soften the onions, when the essential to a good pickle is crispness. We definitely washed the brine off, after three – four days in brine. They will, in my experience, brine up to seven. Though the salt has really penetrated, by then.

  20. NANCY B Says:

    I am encouraged by your recipe…but how can I determine what kind of vinegar to use. Am assuming, since I am not a rocket scientist, that different vinegars will give a different taste… Did you try many and then decide on the malt? Thanks, and the rest of you settle down and quit laughing…lol…Nancy

  21. Ann Says:

    Pickled onions this afternoon according to how Mom made them. Had some doubt as all I did was place small onions in a canning jar (Mom used empty glass Mayo jar) and cover with red wine vinegar and place in the sun. Thank goodness for the post from Malta..that’s where Mom was from! Can’t wait to taste them!! Thanks all!

  22. emma Says:

    What a great recipe. I can’t wait to give it a try. Thanks for sharing.
    Emma

  23. StephenM Says:

    Hi,

    The malt vinegar needs to have an acidity of at least 5% to work at its best. (Some vinegars are only 4% – check the label). I have tried both white & brown vinegar, they both are yummy. You can source pickling onions in ASDA who normally do 1Kg bags for around 80p! I usually add a teaspoon of chilli flakes/kg for an extra kick.

    I have made up several jars of these for Christmas presents, and with a £1 one litre ‘kilner’ type jar from ASDA, and a home made label on my PC, they look terrific as well as tasting great. Much better, and cheaper, than an ordinary box of chocolates you would normally give!

  24. Lemuel Lovitz Says:

    Great write up, I will bookmark this post in my Diigo account. Have a great evening.

  25. Rena Nichole Says:

    These look absolutely delicious! I’m pretty limited on prep-space, so it’ll be saved for a rainy-day-new-apartment-with-counter-space Christmas idea, but it’s brilliant none the less!

  26. Gay Says:

    I’ve just peeled 2kg of picling onions – skins looked lovely healthy brown but when peeled onions are all bright green! I’ve never had this before. Are these ok to eat?

  27. Brian Says:

    Gay, it depends on the type of onion and the type of vinegar you have used and how long you have left them to pickle (at least a month or more is my recommendation but the longer the better).

    In my experience shallots picked in clear vinegar will tend to look more green than baby onions pickled in malt which should look yellowish or golden brown.

    If your onions were green to start with the pickling process with just intensify the colour with a clear vinegar.

  28. Dave Says:

    well seven days ago i pickled some shallots with chillies garlic cloves and black pepper corns in white vinegar(my first time)…… some of my garlic has gone blue but ime told thats ok i cant wait too eat them. reading various posts realize that i may (in some peoples opinion) done every thing wrong….. hey what the hell lol

  29. ivan Says:

    The guy from malta is right. just vinegar and onions and lots of hot indian sun.

  30. tony_dunmore@o2.co.uk Says:

    I peel about 100kg of pickling onions each season, I peel 10kg at a time and leave them in salt water overnight,then place them in jars and cover with Sarsons Malt Seasoned Vinegar. I also add ground chilli peppers to some jars to make the onions hotter. I usually buy the vinegar from a supermarket in 1.5ltr. jars,then use the jars to keep them. I am waiting for this years season to start. I cannot find anywhere that tells me when the season starts. Can anyone help please? I am sure I have bought onions in July in the past. Tony D. Swindon. 16th June,2011

  31. pamela Says:

    I have pickled 1 klo of onions a few weeks ago in white vinegar i put them in brine over knight and I used mustard seed and bay leaves one jar went brown and moldy and had a strong smell the second one i havent been opend yet and are aready going brown can any one please help i dont think they can be eaten

  32. The Gnome Says:

    Pamela. Unless you already make pickled onions, let me share a secret. Pickled onions are ridiculously easy to make! They are great Christmas or anytime presents, especially if you use a decent quality vinegar. My friend can’t handle malt vinegar, gives him a really bad upset stomach so I always make a couple of jars for him every year using white wine vinegar or cider vinegar.

    All I can think of is you must have put mouldy diseased onions into the jar. Always check them out and look for firm onions, with no soft spots or bruises or damp or mouldy patches. Plus always wash your jars and rinse in clean very hot water before bottling up, making sure to spent time on the lid too. Oh and never leave an air gap in the top of the jar before putting the lid on! And finally always store in a dry, dark well ventilated place!

    Try this recipe I use, it has NEVER failed me in 25 years:
    This recipe makes enough for me to fill one 300g and one 400g jar. But the ingredients can be multiplied if you want to make a large batch.

    Very easy and really delicious spicy pickled onions recipe

    Ingredients:
    600g of pickled onions or shallots
    650ml of white wine vinegar
    2 cardamom pods – crushed (one for each jar)
    2 allspice berries (one for each jar)
    2 teaspoons of coriander seeds
    2 teaspoons of mixed peppercorns
    2 birds eye chillies split lengthwise – including seeds
    2 bay leaves

    Saline solution: mix really well until the salt has disappeared.
    500ml of water
    35g of salt

    Method:
    Peel the onions or shallots and put them into a bowl in the saline solution for 12-24 hours depending on size. Place a small plate over the onions to make sure that they are submerged in the solution and store in the fridge.

    The next day. Rinse the onions/shallots well. Put the jars into the oven to sterilise them (I turn the heat to 160°C/140°C fan and then when the temperature is reached I turn the oven off. The jars keep hot for quite a time).

    Add the spices to a clean dry saucepan or skillet and very gently fry to increase the aroma of the spices (don’t let them burn!). After a few minutes add the vinegar and bring to the boil, continue boiling for 5 minutes. It’s best to open the window during this process and keep well away from the saucepan as it really smells terrible. (don’t worry it is just the combination of the vinegar and the spices reacting with the heat) Remove the saucepan from the heat. Allow to sit and cool a little for 5 or 10 minutes.

    Pack the onions/shallots into the warm/hot jars, adding the bay leaves, chillies and a little of the spices from the hot vinegar between the layers. Finally pour the vinegar into the jars, pushing the onions down so that they don’t float on the surface of the vinegar. I always reserve a few of the larger ones for the final layer. Seal immediately and store in a dry dark place for at least four weeks before opening.

    Let me know how you get on Pamela. Happy pickling!
    Colin (The Gnome)

  33. John Gallagher Says:

    Have just made up 5 individual jars of pickled onions in distilled vinegar (the clear stuff). Sterilised the jars and did all the usual stuff. All contain chilli flakes, some fiery little peppers that she grows, cloves, mustard seeds and coriander seeds A week in, 4 jars look fine but the 5th is a bit cloudy. Anyone know why?

  34. jan Says:

    I have been making pickled onions for years, and unless i intend to keep them for a long time, (not really much chance of that), I don’t even bother to brine them anymore. or boil the vinegar with the spices, I just put the pickling spice in the jar. Walah.
    Jan

    • The Gnome Says:

      @John. This could be the reason that you are using the cheaper salt that is available. Cheap salt has been iodised. Now in many of the pickle books I have read most of them state not to use salt which has been iodised as the resultant pickles may become cloudy.
      Hope that helps?
      Colin (The Gnome)

    • tim Says:

      jan, im intrigued by this easy way of doing it. does missing out the salting step make any difference to the taste or crispness of the onions? im guessing the salting is just some kind of preservation step.

  35. Harry Says:

    I have a table full of 3 varieties of large onions. How might I go about pickling my large onions? Can they be sliced? Thanks.

  36. valerie morgan Says:

    i have read all your comments i have been pickleing onions for the past 50 years i have had nothing but praise every year for my onions thisi how i do them peal onions place them in a plastic bowl cover them with a good handful of salt leave overnight next morning give them a good shake drain salt water off put 4 tablespoons of sugar in large jug put hot water over sugar and stir untill clear add pickling vingar and cold water dont have vingar looking too dark in jar may not last for ever but they are beautiful leave for 4 weeks

  37. Murli Nair Says:

    To enjoy onions immediately without waiting for 2-3 months, slice or chop onions (preferably red onions), julienne 2-3 green chillies and add them to the sliced onions, squeeze one whole lemon over them. Wait for 20-25 mins, enjoy them with whatever you are eating. They go especially well with meat dishes and rotis.

  38. The Gnome Says:

    This thread is about PICKLED onions Murli, not just about eating onions asap! You can eat any kind of onion immediately if you so wish and have the constitution. (I despair)

    • StephenM Says:

      Actually, the above ‘quick’ method of pickling is entirely valid. The pickled onions won’t keep as long as traditionally pickling them, but they will keep for around 10 days or so. The method of applying acid (the lemon juice) will ‘pickle’, and does impar a pickled style taste.

  39. The Gnome Says:

    Pickling, also known as brining or corning, is the process of preserving food by anaerobic fermentation in brine (a solution of salt in water) to produce lactic acid, or marinating and storing it in an acid solution, usually vinegar (acetic acid). The resulting food is called a pickle. This procedure gives the food a salty or sour taste. Another distinguishing characteristic is a pH less than 4.6, which is sufficient to kill most bacteria. Pickling can preserve perishable foods for months.

    Like I said this thread IS about PICKLED onions. Read the top of this thread please otherwise there is no point of having a topic and we shall all just talk about anything we want to. Bicycle handbag banana.

    Lets at least keep on topic please? The above topic is NOT about pickled onions. For a start you DO NOT slice onions ready to pickle. If you did they would be really soft and squishy and not very nice to eat.

    • StephenM Says:

      Wow ‘gnome’, you really have quite an attitude going on there! I for one have been following this thread for a few years and welcomed the suggestion for a ‘quick’ pickle. Didn’t see any mention of a bicycle banana handbag🙂 The description you posted applies perfectly to that recipe! Still, if it upsets you so much, indeed, feel free to air your venom for all of us to see – that’s the beauty of free speech…

  40. The Gnome Says:

    @StephenM

    My point is all about keeping it in context and not waffling on about whatever you want. All I am saying is why, if as you say, is it ok to comment on whatever you want? I think my next comment on this thread will be about Prague-based Boad Design’s “Izolator” collection of stemware or maybe about the giant towable inkjet printer that prints messages of peaceful protest, in non-toxic water-soluble paint, on city streets? Both seem to be fair game in your eyes.

    If by attitude you are meaning I’d like to see people keeping on topic here then yes I do think that. And I also think your comment about me being ‘upset’ ad ‘venomous’ rather over the top and I consider your comment a pathetic attempt at winding me up. Not once have I come across as either upset nor venomous! Just trying to keep this thread on topic.

    Like I have pointed out before the title of this thread, the first sentence and the accompanying picture sets the content.
    Pickled Onions. (the title) Pickled onions! I’m making jars of pickled onions as Christmas gifts – they’re cheap to make, involve no actual cooking, and are always appreciated by those who like them (opening sentence) and picture above at the top of this thread!

    Try seeing this as a conversation between two people and you’ll see what I mean. I’m not trying to be a smart arse (like you), just trying to be honest and truthful and not lose the actual subject of the thread (completely lost now because of your inane goading and childish utterings)

    • StephenM Says:

      How delightful to hear from you again, and so soon…

      I was always taught, “never argue with an idiot, they’ll only bring you down to their level, and win from experience”.

      Enjoy your pickled onions…

      • Murli Says:

        thanks. Stephen, exactly my point. I hope the Gnome understands ! My dear Gnome, it IS about pickled onions. the method you suggest keeps the pickled onion for a long time. The method I suggest is for immediate consumption. They are both about pickled onions ! Chill man, the subject is hardly worth getting upset about.

  41. The Gnome Says:

    As it seems that you are both going to gang up on me, and there are no other people to back me up with my point, I shan’t even bother with this site again.

    Have a nice life both of you.

  42. jon Says:

    ive just bought 2 kilos of french shallots from my local farmer in france they have just come into season. a tip i remember from my grandad was that he always prepared them, peeling etc underwater in a large sink or bowl, that way you dont get the tears, apparently. i will try it.

  43. deborah harper Says:

    can you use just ‘normal’ onions..that are small..i live next to the farm and there are lots of immature onions around the edge,iam sure no good for anything else..am i being dense,is this what is considered a ‘pickling onion’..is it all about size !!

    • tim coulson Says:

      fireman tim says; i seem to remember pickling some onions that were gathered in similar circumstances, although you may wish to add some spices to the malt vinegar (to add flavour). i,m sure size does,nt matter!!!!

      • deborah harper Says:

        Thankyou Tim,for your reply..i went ahead and give them a go and yes! put plenty of spices(inc chilli) in the malt(if i dont choke when i eat it,it isnt a pickled onion in my opinion!!)that was 2 weeks ago and ive tried my little taster jar..wow!! they are good now so i think by christmas they will be awsome..pleased with my first effort with onions..picillili next.x

  44. tim coulson Says:

    glad to hear that your effort has been worth it deborah, good luck with your picilli. sounds like you should have quite a selection ready for christmas.

  45. Suzanne Nichols Says:

    I’ve just made 2 types of pickled onions and garlic- one in white wine vinegar and the other in cheap balsamic (Lidl 99p for 1/2 Litre). The balsamic recipe was one I tried last year and it was yummy! http://uktv.co.uk/food/recipe/aid/514587 I did find a good trick to peeling the onions and garlic quickly as well. Top and tail them and then drop them into boiling water for 30 seconds. Quickly take them out again with a slotted spoon and dunk them immediately into a big bowl of cold water. Peel them (easily) underwater (the skins will have softened) and then transfer straight into your brining solution. Apparently this also stops the outer skins oxidising and toughening. Not sure if that bit works or not as I haven’t tried them yet- need to leave them a few more weeks……

    • stephenM Says:

      Excellent ‘peeling’ technique Suzanne. For anyone who wants more information, simply google the word, “Blanching”…

  46. Felicity Says:

    Hi, I have some pickling onions left over from Xmas day (used them in a recipe instead of shallots). I fancy making them into pickled onions for our New Year’s Eve party. Will they be flavoured in time? Or am I wasting my time?!

    • stephenM Says:

      You are never ‘wasting your time’ pickling onions. I think the flavour wouldn’t be very deep after such a short time, but they’d still be edible. And if you could wait another few weeks, they’d be delicious…

  47. Rebecca Says:

    How soon is TOO soon to start pickling onions?

  48. mark walker Says:

    I placed lots of scotch bonnets in with my pickled onions But they were only slightly hot WHAT WENT WRONG Please help

    • StephenM, Belfast, UK Says:

      To be honest Mark, I don’t know. But, I have put in a good spoonful of Chili flakes before and they do get mighty spicy with those. Maybe they need to be ‘flaked’ so the chili heat can infuse easier…

      • mark walker Says:

        Thanks mate Will give that a go i used fresh chillis

      • mark walker Says:

        Just ordered some dried ghost chillis are they the same as chilli flakes ? Should i just drop them in the vinegar or cut them up ? boil them etc I really have no idea Thanks for any help

  49. StephenM, Belfast, UK Says:

    I really hope someone more intelligent than me can answer you. All I can say is that I use the Chili flakes that come in the spice department of any supermarket by Schwartz – in a jar costing less than £2, they certainly work!

  50. mark walker Maidstone Says:

    Stephen you know a million things more than i do I’ve just bought some more scotch bonnets some dried ghost chillies and some ghost chilli flakes So high hopes this time One last question my friend I’ve heard some people soak them in salt water for 24 hours Whilst others go straight for the vinegar What would you recommend ? And thank you for your time and advice

    • StephenM, Belfast, UK Says:

      Sorry friend, I had email notifications unactivated so never saw you post till now! Yes, definitely brine them 1st before hitting with vinegar. (Put them in your garage or utility room though as most would object to the aroma, doesn’t bother me LOL)

  51. Therese Chenoweth Says:

    I just entered a Barossa Valley country show for the first time with my pickled onions. I won third prize! The judge told me they preferred the taste of mine, but because the ends were brown I didn’t win first prize. Why does this happen? Can anyone help? I note from comments above that most people seem to BRINE the onions before pickling. Is this where I went wrong? I WANT TO WIN FIRST PRIZE NEXT YEAR!

    • StephenM, Belfast, UK Says:

      I have never NOT brined them first & can’t remember the ends going brown – so would definitely recommend you doing so for your next batch. Good luck for next year!🙂

      • Therese Chenoweth Says:

        Thanks Stephen. I actually used a “Barossa Valley Cookbook” with old German recipes from the Barossa’s old-time cooks. Perhaps they didn’t care about brown ends then. Yes, I’m determined to “go for the gold” next March.

  52. tim Says:

    this recipe sounds like alot of work.

    i just dry salt the onions (just pour a load of salt over them, mix, and leave overnight), i compared dry salting to making a brine on the same batch of onions and it turned out exactly the same.

    to peel them, the much easier way than dunking in hot water is to top and tail them, run the knife up the outer layer and peel a whole outer layer of the onion off. this take 10 seconds per onion.

    ive also read many time that its best not to get the onions hot at any stage as this ruins the crispyness. ive never tested it but i can believe that.

  53. Therese Chenoweth Says:

    Thanks for your tip, Tim. Yes, I was wondering whether the plunging into boiling water (which my old Barossa Valley cookbook recommended) had any effect on (a) the texture of the onions, which weren’t clear, or (b) contributed to the browning of the ends, which cost me in the country show awards. By the way, being a crazy baker as well as a pickler and lime cordial maker, I couldn’t resist putting a snipped vanilla pod or two in with my picking spices. I think it makes a little “secret” difference. Anyway, as the judge told me, they preferred the TASTE of mine. Perhaps it was the vanilla. I firmly believe that vanilla makes EVERYTHING better!

  54. Lisette Guzman Says:

    I am making pickled white onions medium size : peeling, washing ( with chlorine water), cutting them in fourths, then placing them in a plastic bags, pouring acetic acid 4% ( salt). Then I sealed the bags and let them stay, but some how the liquid starts to get really dark brown and is tastes rusty ( oxidised), could it be that I need to get higher acetic acid up to 5% or the salt is the problem? it contains iodine. I thought it was the bag, so I switch to different types of bags. It has to be in bags since I need to transport this in carton cases for further processing, Anyone has any suggestions?

    • StephenM Says:

      Hi Lisette, I believe one of your issues may be attributable to you cutting the onions into ‘fourths’ (or quarters). Even commercially available pickled onions always have them in whole, no matter what the size. Cuttting them open will expose the whole onion, all layers of it, to a harsh pickling process which would make them react funny. I’d be pretty confident if you left them whole, your same process would be absolutely fine…

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  56. carltonexec Says:

    Been doing this for years and suddenly this year the skins on some are turning black in the jars. Any ideas? Thanks.

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  58. English Pickled Onions - All Free Crafts Says:

    […] Pickled Onion Recipes: Pickled Onions from British Foods at About.com Pickled Onions or Shallots, from 101 Things Every Cook Should […]


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