Pickled onions

From Cookipedia

This recipe requires preparation in advance!

Around September in the UK pickling onions (shallots) are locally available and as the day grow shorter and cooler it's a great time to get pickling!

If you prefer a sweeter Pickled onion, then add one or two teaspoons of brown sugar to each jar.

The onions need to soak for two days before pickling so plan a little ahead.

Pickled onions
Servings:Servings: 32 - Fills 3 x 500 ml jars
Calories per serving:48
Ready in:2 days, 2 hours
Prep. time:2 days, 2 hours
Cook time:None
Difficulty:Average difficulty
Recipe author:Chef
First published:24th September 2012

Best recipe review

Glorius 😍


These put shop-bought pickled onions to shame.

Jerry, aka Chef)


Printable 🖨 shopping 🛒 list & 👩‍🍳 method for this recipe


2 days before the pickling is to start

  1. Top, tail and peel the pickling onions and place in a large bowl.
  2. This is quite a pleasant task if it can be done outside in the sun. No tears this way!
  3. Mix the salt into 568 ml (2 pints) of boiled hot water and pour this over the peeled pickling onions.
  4. Leave for two days in a cool place, covered with a tea towel. You can place a clean plate on top of the onions to keep them underwater

Pickling day:

  1. Discard the salt-water and rinse the onions in a sieve under cold running water. Pat dry with a tea-towel.
  2. You can use a salad spinner to remove excess brine.
  3. Add all of the ingredients to a large pan and bring it to the boil, then turn off the heat and leave it to go completely cold
  4. Sieve out the spices and discard. You can filter the vinegar through blotting paper if you are fussed.
  5. Sterilise the pickling jars and pack the onions into the jars
  6. Pour the vinegar, with the spices, into the jars and add the optional sugar
  7. Seal and store in a cool, dark place for 2 months to mature

Chef's note

Quantities for pickling shallots and onions.

The spices I added made a gorgeous warm vinegar and with the jaggery it was so good that I made some more just to use with fish and chips!

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