How To Make Pickled Onions

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Quick & easy to make, these pickled onions are tangy, sweet & full of flavour.
Great in sandwiches, burgers & salads. For best results, make these at least a day before you want to use them – they’ll last for weeks in the fridge!

pickled red onions

How To Pickle Onions

The first stage when making pickled onions is the pickle.
To make a pickling liquid, we place vinegar, sugar, herbs & spices into a pan & heat it up gently to dissolve the sugar. It’s important not to boil the pickling liquid as this will make it taste bitter.

To prep the onions, they must be peeled & thinly sliced. How they’re sliced is up to you, either rings or slices work well.

The final step is to pour the warm pickle over the onions then leave them to cool & refrigerate to at least a day before using.

vinegar pickle

What Vinegar To Use?

When is comes to making a pickle, you can use pretty much any type of vinegar!
As we are making pickled red onions, I like to use half red wine vinegar for its’ colour & apple cider vinegar for its’ sweetness.

What Sugar To Use & How Much?

I tend to use caster sugar for my pickles because it adds sweetness but doesn’t affect the colour of the pickle. For a sweet pickle I usually go for 1 part sugar to 2 parts vinegar.

What Else Can This Pickle Be Used For?

You can pickle many different fruit & vegetables. Carrots, beetroot & cucumber all make good pickles. Keep in mind that some vegetables (like carrots & beetroots) will need blanching first.
If you’re pickling something that isn’t red, swap the red wine vinegar out for white wine vinegar.

How To Store Pickled Onions

I’d recommend pickling & storing your onions in either a kilner jar or an airtight container. Once cool, they need to be kept in the fridge. They will keep in the fridge for several weeks.

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How To Make Pickled Onions

Quick & easy to make, these pickled onions are tangy, sweet & full of flavour. Great in sandwiches, burgers & salads. For best results, make these at least a day before you want to use them – they’ll last for weeks in the fridge!
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Side Dish, Snack
Yield: 1 Large Jar
Author: Ben Racey

Equipment

  • Large Kilner Jar
  • Medium Saucepan

Materials

  • 4 Red Onions
  • 200 g Red Wine Vinegar
  • 200 g Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 200 g Caster Sugar
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Star Anise
  • ½ Cinnamon Stick
  • ½ tsp Pink Peppercorns
  • ½ tsp Chilli Flakes
  • ½ tsp Coriander Seeds

Instructions

  • Place the vinegars, sugar, bay leaves, star anise, cinnamon, peppercorns & chilli into a medium saucepan.
    Cook over a low heat until the sugar has fully dissolved, around 10 minutes.
    Set aside to cool slightly whilst you prep the onions.
  • Next, peel the onions, cut in half & slice thinly. Alternatively, peel then cut into rings.
    Place the sliced onions into a clean jar.
  • Pass the pickling liquid through a sieve into a jug then pour over the onions.
    Give the onions a good stir then leave to cool to room temperature (leave the lid off the jar).
  • Once cool, seal the jar & leave in the fridge for at least a day before using.

Notes

Left in the fridge, these will last for several weeks.
Make sure that the jar or container that is used to store the onions in is clean & sterile. This will help prevent the pickles from going off.
Slice the onions as thin as possible – the thinner the better. Either into slices or rings.
When making the pickling liquid, don’t let it boil as this will make it taste bitter.
Feel free to change up the spices/flavours in the pickling liquid. Fresh garlic & herbs would work well.

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