I grew up thinking that pickled onions were a food only bought and consumed around Christmas time, or occasionally as a side to fish 'n' chips... Definitely not something I considered a health food. Little did I know that when made in the traditional (proper) way, pickled onions are incredibly good for you. The method in which they are made means they fall under the umbrella of fermented foods, which contain a whole host of bacteria beneficial to the gut.
Easy to make and a worthy condiment to any meal, these are a staple in my kitchen.
Makes 3 jars
3 red onions
2tbsp unrefined sea salt
600ml spring water, boiled
Herbs and spices of choice; fennel, pepper, chili, garlic etc.
- Make a brine by dissolving the salt in 700ml of boiled water in a heatproof jug and set aside to cool
- Sterilise the jars, either by filling with boiling water or in a hot oven
- Peel the onions and slice into rounds – the thickness is up to you
- Pack the sliced onions into the sterilised jars along with your chosen flavours
- Pour the cooled salt water (brine) over the onions until they’re fully submerged
- Screw the lid on and leave to ferment at room temperature for 2-weeks, or until your desired flavour has been reached. You can taste the onions at intervals and once they’ve reached a flavour you’re most happy with, transfer them to the fridge.
NB: You will need to release gas from the jar every other day or so by lightly unscrewing the lid and then re-tightening it. This technique is known as 'burping'! You'll find out why...
Flavours pictured – one fennel (fresh fennel tops and seeds), one Szechuan pepper and one thyme