Crispy Fried Shallots

OK so today I’m going to cheat a bit for my Thursday Kitchen Cupboard post.  But I’ve got a cold and I’ve had a busy week, the highlight of which was an evening at the Australian Open.  Lets go Lleyton, Lets go….and go he did straight out of the tournament – still he did a lot better than expected.  But I digress, my cheating is that today I’m not really posting a recipe – well it is a recipe but only of sorts, you see it only has two ingredients: Shallots & Oil, in my case sunflower oil.

I harvested quite a lot of shallots this year and as, Charmaine Sollomon (I think it was her) says; making Crispy Fried Shallots is like putting money in the bank.  I particularly like that concept and when you think about it its pretty true of all preserving – you are saving for a rainy day, or a wintery one anyway.

To make Crispy Fried Shallots:

Peel and slice the shallots.  I find they work best if the slices are about 3mm wide.  You want the shallots to be sliced as evenly as possible to ensure they all cook at the same rate.

Heat enough oil (I like using sunflower oil for these) to cover the base of a pan with about  1-2cm of oil.  You want the pan to be big enough to hold the shallots in a single layer across its base.

Fry the shallots until they go a deep golden brown (as in the picture below) I find they sometimes brown a bit more after being removed from the pan.   Remove from the oil and drain on Kitchen Paper.  You need to spread them out to drain otherwise they tend to stick together.

Once cool they can be stored in a sterilised airtight jar and used in a range of dishes.   Any that look a bit undercooked I eat immediately rather than storing.  I use them in fried rice, gado gado, curries, kedgeree, soups etc etc.  My kids (and me occasionally) are happy just eating them straight from the jar.

I have to admit being a bit confused as to how long they keep for.  I’ve certainly happily eaten them weeks after they have been made.   My mum’s seem to keep for months in an air tight jar in the cupboard.  I keep mine in airtight jar in the fridge (there’s more room in my fridge than there is the cupboard) and they last a good few weeks at the very least.  They are sold unrefrigerated in Asian grocers.  But most of the advice on the internet suggests they only last for a much shorter period – a matter of days.  Personally I’m not sure what there is in them that could go bad – the cooking removes the water content of the shallot hence the crispiness so all that’s left is oil and dry shallot.  I’d be interested to know what people think.

To see what others are making this week head on over to the Gardener of Eden for Thursday Kitchen Cupboard.

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11 Responses to Crispy Fried Shallots

  1. This sounds interesting and something I’ve never tried. At least our shallots haven’t yet gone mouldy as the onions did!

  2. Robin says:

    Boy they look yummy! I have never thought of doing this. Thanks for sharing this great idea!

  3. Wilderness says:

    Love the fried shallots. Have seen them as a garnish on many recipes but have never tried them. The shallots may not go bad but the oil will eventually become rancid.

    • Liz says:

      Ahhh – that makes sense. Thankyou! I really recommend making them, particularly if you eat rice dishes as I think they work particularly well with rice – a nice textural contrast.

  4. Mrs.Pickles says:

    going to have to try that!

  5. Wow-must give these a go when I harvest my shallots and onions in the Summer. I love those crispy fried onions you can buy in a container from Ikea in the UK, but never thought of making my own…Thanks so much for the idea!

  6. mac says:

    Love love love fried shallots, they are so good in noodle soups and salads.

  7. L says:

    I have absolutely no experience on the topic, but is it possible that the commercial ones are also dehydrated after frying? I imagine that any residual moisture is most likely to be responsible for spoilage.


    • Liz says:

      Ah quite possibly. I think I will just assume mine have no residual moisture and therefore wont spoil, well until i’m greeted by a jar full of mould anyway.

  8. Diana says:

    Sometime I coated them with flour before I fried them.

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