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Our recipe called for frozen pearl onions & I only found fresh. What do I need to do to the fresh ones?

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Can you post the recipe? Do they get cooked substantially? –  Jefromi Nov 24 '11 at 1:09

3 Answers 3

Fresh ones will require peeling, and probably slightly longer cooking, as the freezing process tends to break down some of the cell membranes. The frozen ones are typically pre-peeled.

The easiest way I've found to peel pearl onions is to score them accross the top in an X pattern with a paring knife, dip them in a pot of boiling water for 15 seconds or so, shock in an ice bath. Then, one by one, grab them by the stem-end, and squeeze gently -- the onions will typically pop right out of the peels!

Again, depending on the dish, you may have to cook them a little bit longer. If it's a fast saute or stir fry, you may want to leave them in the boiling water for another 30-60 seconds when you're peeling them to soften them up more. If it's a long braised or stewed dish, I wouldn't bother.

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Onions tend to soften when they un freeze, so if you only get fresh ones you can always rinse them for 15 minutes in boiling water or if you have a couple of days, put them in the freezer :-) there you go, frozen pearl onions for you!

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Peel them and you are ready to go!

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