Monday, April 21, 2008

Red onions

Raw red onions can give you an unpleasant shock. They are supposed to be mild, and sweet; but often they are not.

A good way to ensure sweetness is to slice the onions, put them in a bowl, and cover them with boiling water. Leave them for half an hour, or longer, and drain them, squeezing out the liquid (with your hands, or with the back of a spoon pushed gently against the onions in a sieve). The milkiness in the bowl, and in the liquid that emerges from the squeezed onions, is sulphur, which is what causes raw onions to burn our mouths and sting our eyes.

I like red onions in salads with beans and/or rice. It might go, instead of the fried onions, in this recipe, for example.


Pixie said...

See, I knew I added you to my reader for a very good reason! Great tip. :)

Nicholas Clee said...

If boiling water causes the onions to wilt too much for your taste, Pixie, you could try soaking them in cold water, or in changes of cold water, for an hour or so. Give them a squeeze every so often. I usually soak spring onions before adding them to a salad.