Shallots are special in so many ways. You could say that they’re the mini version of red onion, and they are except that shallots are packed with more flavors.
Shallots are sweet, sharp, acidic and spicy all at the same time. Imagine biting into a fresh shallot and experiencing all of those in one go. It’s pretty amazing. Shallots are used to elaborate dishes. It’s usually added in dishes to stand out.
Pickled shallots are what I would say the subtler version of the raw kind. Its sharpness is softened by the pickling brine, creating a pleasant but robust flavor in your mouth.
Can you pickle shallots in balsamic vinegar?
Balsamic vinegar is vinegar made out of grapes so it turns out sweet compared to other kinds of vinegar.
You can use balsamic vinegar to pickle shallots but you have to remember that the flavor and appearance of balsamic vinegar will also affect the pickling process. The pickles will adapt to the color and flavor of balsamic vinegar. You may want to lessen the amount of sugar for pickling since balsamic vinegar is already sweet.
If this is your goal, then yes! By all means, use the balsamic vinegar for pickling. It will create a nice and not-so-common pickled shallot experience.
What to eat with pickled shallots
Pickled shallots are best eaten with strong-tasting food like heavily seasoned or spiced food! If you’ve eaten tacos, you have most like had it with pickled red onions or pickled shallots. Pickled shallots or red onions have that acidic-salty quality that complements the strong and smoky flavor of tacos. Plus, it’s such a great experience in your mouth to bite into a nice pulled pork taco with the crunchy texture of the pickled shallots!
Pickled shallots also go well with stews like paneer curry or spiced beef stew. These dishes are heavy on spices and richness so pickled shallots are the perfect way to neutralize these flavors in your mouth.
The bottom line is that if you have some rich, spiced, heavily seasoned food on your plate, it would be nice to have the pickled shallots on the side to counterbalance the strong flavors. Give it a try! Experiment!
How to make pickled shallots
Pickling shallots is easy and is the same as pickling red onions.
Wash your shallots and peel off the skin. This might take a while because you’re handling mini onions and the skin most times is more bonded unto the shallot. It might take a while, so watch something while peeling!
Thinly slice your shallots as you would your pickled red onion. The thinner, the tasteful it will look. Place the sliced shallots in a jar with a nice tight lid.
In a saucepan, bring to a boil the water, vinegar, salt and sugar until the solids have completely dissolved. Remember to make enough so that you won’t worry about covering the shallots with the brine, completely.
Pour the brine into the jar. Let it cool for 2 hours then seal it tight. Keep in the chiller for the next 24 hours to complete the pickling process. Shake the jar from time to time.
How long do pickled shallots last for?
Pickled shallots can last you up to 3 weeks if stored correctly. Picking is a form of extending the shelf life of fruits and/or vegetables. Remember to store your pickled shallots in an airtight container and keep in the chiller most especially after it has been opened.
Pickled shallots vs pickled red onions
Shallots are sharper in flavor compared to the normal red onion. Red onion also tends to be bigger in size compared to a shallot.
You might think that if you pickle them, they would taste the same. That’s not entirely true.
Pickled shallots are actually stronger in flavor compared to red onion. Even if the pickling brine mellows the shallot down, the sweetness, sharpness and acidity of the shallot will still cut through your taste buds. It’s a different experience. Both kinds of pickles will still retain its pretty in pink color but the flavor will slightly differ.
Can I eat pickled shallots on a Keto diet?
You may eat pickled shallots when you’re on a Keto diet! Keto diet requires zero carbs and sugar. Well, you can pickle without sugar or a sweetener that is Keto friendly.
Pickling shallots is mostly about water, vinegar and salt. Sugar isn’t really an important ingredient because it is used for flavor. If you absolutely don’t want sugar in your pickles, it’s completely fine. If you do want that sweetness, you may add just the right amount of stevia. I say the right amount because if you put a drop too much of stevia, it can cause the pickled shallots to get bitter.
So yes, pickled shallots are a carb-free and could-be-sugar-free side which is perfect for your Keto diet.
Quick Pickled Shallots Recipe
Basic Pickled Shallots Recipe
- 6-8 shallots sliced
- ½ cups vinegar 12%
- ⅔ cups sugar or a little bit less maple syrup/honey
- 1½ water or apple cider vinegar
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp peppercorns
- 1 tbsp chili
Slice the shallots very thinly and put it in a jar. (Add the optional addons as well)
Bring water, vinegar, salt and sugar to a boil in a pot until everything dissolves.
Add the boiling water to the jar.
Let it cool. Stir or shake every now and then.