Pickled Red Onions: Best Homemade Recipe
People pickle foods as a means of preserving them for future use. This is the same with pickled red onions. While there are some pickled foods that are quite challenging to make, red onions are very easy to pickle. In this article, we will show you how you can make quick pickled red onions using only 4 ingredients.
One of the things that people ask in the making of a pickled red onions recipe is if they can use other onion varieties. You might think that yellow or white onions will also be great for pickling. However, these onion varieties have a more potent and sharper onion flavor than red onions. Yellow and white onions are best cooked. The cooking process tends to temper the sharp onion flavor of these varieties.
It is for this reason that red onions are the best when it comes to eating raw. It has a milder flavor that also gets even milder with the addition of a hot pickling solution. Of course, you can always use other onions in your recipe. You can try sweet varieties like Vidalia and Walla Walla. They do not have that sharp and astringent taste that most onions have.
The Pickling Solution
Any pickled food will need vinegar, salt, and sweetener. They are fundamental to the pickling solution. You can always add other ingredients if you like. Spices, herbs, and other ingredients can complement the natural flavors of a pickling solution.
Most people will use white vinegar for pickling. However, it has a very strong flavor that may overpower the mildness of the red onions. A good substitute will be apple cider vinegar. It is not as sharp as white vinegar. It has a nice sweet taste to it that goes well with the natural sweetness of red onions. There are also people who prefer red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar. As already mentioned, everything boils down to what type of vinegar you prefer.
If you are not keen on using vinegar in your picking solution, you can use citrus juices instead. A good substitute for apple cider vinegar will be equal amounts of freshly-squeezed juice from Seville oranges. If you do not have this kind of citrus, you can combine 2 parts of regular orange juice with 1 part of lime juice.
Homemade pickled red onions will also require a sweetener in the pickling solution. Most people will use granulated sugar in their recipes. However, this is not the only ingredient that you can use. It is also possible to use honey or maple syrup if you desire. Agave syrup is also a great substitute. Honey and agave can provide you with more benefits than ordinary sugar.
Onions and the pickling solution are the two most important ingredients in how to make pickled red onions. This should not stop you from adding other ingredients. You can make the pickle spicy by adding sliced Habanero peppers. If you cannot stand the heat that these peppers give, then you may want to use Jalapeno peppers instead. Some will also use red pepper flakes to make the easy pickled red onions recipe the “heat” that they want.
If you like the taste of garlic in your pickled red onions, then you can slice a couple of garlic cloves. There is no need to crush them. Very thin garlic slices are often enough to impart a distinct garlicky taste to your pickles.
Freshly-ground black peppercorns can also make your pickle more interesting. If you prefer a subtler peppery taste, you should use whole peppercorns.
Other ingredients that you can use in your pickled red onions include allspice, bay leaf, dried oregano, and ground cumin. You can also use other dried or fresh herbs in your recipe.
How to Make Pickled Red Onions
Making the best pickled red onions is very easy. This recipe we are going to share with you is very basic. As we have already mentioned above, it is up to you to add other ingredients in your pickle. The point here is that this recipe can serve as a foundation for your own creations. You can make adjustments to the amount of the different ingredients to suit your taste preferences a lot better.
- 1 large piece of red onion
- ¾ cup of vinegar, preferably apple cider vinegar
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar, honey, maple syrup, or any other “sweetener”
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- Remove the skin of the onion. Cut off the top and the base before cutting the onion in half. Slice each half of the onion into smaller slices. Make sure to slice the onion as thinly as possible. If you are having difficulty cutting the onion into uniform slices, you may want to use a mandoline slicer instead.
- Pour the apple cider vinegar, sweetener, and salt in a saucepan. Mix it well until you no longer see any grain of salt or sugar, if this is the sweetener you will use. You can also add other ingredients that you want, such as spices and herbs.
- Heat the pan and bring the vinegar solution to a simmer. You can crank up the heat to about medium high. You can also simmer your pickling solution in the microwave.
- Get a clean mason jar or any wide-mouthed container that has a lid. Put the very thin slices of onions in the jar or container. Pour the pickling solution over the sliced onions and cover the jar. Give it a vigorous shake to blend the different ingredients. If you are using a bowl instead of a jar, you can stir the ingredients together instead of shaking.
- Allow the onion to absorb the pickling solution before serving. Half an hour should be enough. If you want more delicious pickled red onions, then you might want to store your creation in the refrigerator for a few days before serving.
Making pickled red onions is a very straightforward process. Let this pickled red onions recipe we shared with you serve as your guide in creating a more fascinating pickled food for you and your loved ones.