For a long time, I thought pickled cucumbers meant primarily pickled cucumbers, which I hate. But that was before I started making red onion pickles in exactly 5 minutes. Crispy, melt like candy, and full of probiotics, they spice up any meal and aid digestion.
Like it or not, pickles are part of what is called pickles. Roughly speaking, these are products whose shelf life is extended thanks to a solution of vinegar and salt, which starts the process of lacto-fermentation (nothing to do with milk, we are talking about lactic acid).
This process makes the food more acidic, to the point of killing most bacteria, making it a great way to preserve it.. As you can imagine, it also changes the taste, texture, and even appearance of the food, which partly explains why a cucumber can look so different from a cucumber.
Although I love cucumbers, I hate pickles, so I never thought about making homemade pickles. But that was before I stumbled across TikTok of (charming) chef Ethan Chlebowski explaining why he adds those red onions to absolutely any savory dish. And since it looked so simple, I love onions, and I’m pumping my way of cooking, I immediately started! FROM, I can’t live without it, I put it everywhereand I even cook more at home just to add more. Soon I might even be walking around with a can on me, who knows.
Why pickles will spruce up your meals and driveways
As a result, with its bright pink colorthe red bow provides an always interesting visual contrast. By their semi-crispy, semi-melting texture, it can also bring relief to the plate. And especially, by their slightly sweet-salty sournessit almost looks like candy! Also, it causes more salivation in the mouth (to balance the acidity), which enhances the taste what is slipping there.
In addition, since it is lacto-fermented, red onion also provides the body with probiotics. In short, it’s about bacteria beneficial for the balance of the intestinal flora, which thus promotes better digestion.
Basic Ingredients for Making Red Onion Cucumbers
To make red onion pickles, as well as any other vegetables that you want to lacto-ferment (like carrots, red cabbage, or fennel), you only need 4 ingredients, which you can vary or add as you wish as you become addicted like me. But first, get a glass jar that you can seal tightly with a lid, because it will serve as a measuring cup and will be able to:
- A few red onions, just to put your effort to good use (enough to fill your jar, actually: I make at least 5 per 500 ml jar).
- Half a can of white vinegar (or cider, or rice)
- Half can of water
- 1 large pinch coarse salt
And that’s all that formed the basis your vinegar solution. You can supplement it with other aromatic ingredients with antibacterial properties., for example, cloves, star anise or even a tablespoon of sugar. What I love to add is mustard and cumin seeds toasted for a few minutes in a pan to toast them, which brings out their flavor.
Pickled Red Onion Recipe in 4 Steps
- Pour half the water, half the vinegar and a pinch of salt into a saucepan and bring this solution to a boil (you can also add cloves, star anise, sugar or mustard seeds and roasted cumin).
- While your mixture is heating, peel the red onion, cut it in half, and then cut it into thin slices (ideally from root to head: this has the advantage of less cells being destroyed, so less crying). Pack them in your jar.
- Once your solution boils, pour it into the jar over the still raw red onion (yes, yes). Your onions must be completely submerged in water in order for the lacto-fermentation process to proceed as well as possible, and thus you can store them for a long time.
- Let it sit for at least 1 hour before putting it in the fridge and it’s ready to eat!
But the more time passes, the richer your onions will be in flavor and probiotics. because easily stored up to 3 weeksif they remain well immersed in the vinegar solution.
So you can sprinkle a large fork of homemade pickles on any dish. salty (or not, I’m not judging) such as stuffed eggplant, fried halloumi, mushroom risotto, or butternut squash with chestnuts. Personally, I love putting it on my red lentil tortillas, chili sin carne, and smoked tofu spring rolls.
Have you made homemade pickles yet? If yes, what are your tips and best combinations?
A simple, vegetarian and inexpensive recipe for stuffed eggplant has no drawbacks.
One photo credit: YouTube screenshot. Ethan Chlebowski.