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How to Make Easy Pickled Onions

How to Pickle Onions

Pickled onions are a popular pickled food consisting of small onions pickled in a solution of vinegar and spice.

In the United Kingdom they are often eaten alongside fish and chips or as part of a Ploughman's lunch.

There is a variety of small white pickled onions known as 'silver skin onions'.

This is my simple method for making pickled onions. It has worked pretty well so far as I'm still alive and still have a taste for these home made varieties.

this page covers pickling onions simply, peeling onions, vinegar, spices and types of Pickling Jars

pickled onions in jars 

How to make easy Pickled onions? My method is:

Ingredients for pickling Onions

Some Onions and or Shallots.

Some Vinegar (malt for me).

Some pickling spice.

Some Sugar.

A Jar.

Top and tail the onions you need and put them in the the jar you are going to keep the pickles in. This gives you the amount you will need to peel.

The pickle jar can be anything from a large jam jar to a plastic lidded container or these classy and expensive pickles jars at the top. Not mine but one day perhaps :-> 

Vinegar is an acid and will react with certain materials, so leave some vinegar in the pickle jar over night to see if will take the pickling challenge. Metal lids will go rusty with vinegar so place some plastic wrap between the jar and the lid when you seal them.

pickling spice ad

Peeling Onions

Sometimes peeling onions make me cry and sometimes they don't. If it does get to you, stick your hands in a bowl of water until it stops. Perhaps its the onion skin on your hand, I don't know for sure - but it seems to work.

Peel the onions and put them in a bowl with a little salt on them. I leave them overnight in a cool place where no one has to smell them much. The salt lifts the onion layers a little which allows the vinegar to seep in a bit.

You can also soak the onions in sugar and water at this point if you want to. I prefer to add the sugar when the onions are in the jar as it seems to be easier, but this is up to you.

Pickling Spices

Next day pop-em in the pickling jar and then fill the jar with malt vinegar. I use malt vinegar as this I believe gives the pickled onions the most traditional taste, but you can experiment to your gourmet pickling taste buds can take no more.

Then put in some pickling spice. I use 1 -2 small dried chillies, black whole peppercorns and a little dried bay, I would think about 3/4 teaspoon, but again I say experiment because these are so cheap and simple to make you can always make another Jar.

I have looked at other pickling spice mixes and the most common use the following mixture using whole or coarse pieces:  cinnamon, allspice, mustard seed, coriander, bay leaves, ginger, chillies, cloves, black pepper, mace and cardamom but use what you have and you will probably like the results.

A Spoon full of Sugar helps the medicine go down.

Finally put a teaspoon or more of sugar in to activate it all. Put the jar somewhere cool and dark and forget about them for 3 - 4 weeks.

There are lots of other ways to make pickled onions and I have tried many of them being such a fan, but this method has been the most consistent, cheapest and easiest.

This method has been passed down to me and the results taste like the expensive ones in the posh jars, and not those acidic little silver skin ones they try and pass of as cocktail snaXs in the supermarket.



More recipes - Experiment and enjoy!