Use this tag for questions about selecting, identifying, storing, preparing, replacing or cooking with onion as a star ingredient.

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176
votes
43answers
22k views

How can I chop onions without crying?

Onions are an excellent addition to many dishes, but cutting them can be frustrating when they make you "cry" all the time. Does anyone know any tips or tricks to help minimise the tears when ...
22
votes
6answers
835 views

How to caramelise onions?

Often recipes ask for caramelised onions. What are some good techniques for cooking them this way, as it seems to take a while, and often even if they are on a low heat they can brown a bit too much ...
20
votes
11answers
101k views

How long should I keep a cut onion?

Since I only cook for one or two, I will tend to buy an onion and only use part of it, and then keep the rest in the fridge. Sometimes it will be a while before I use the rest. Is there any guidance ...
20
votes
4answers
4k views

What are the differences between different types of onions, and when do you use them?

I used a recipe for a mean black-eyed-pea salad this past weekend which called for a red onion. Since I wanted extra onion flavor in the salad anyway, I decided to pick up a Vidalia onion to throw in ...
16
votes
7answers
16k views

What can I substitute for onions?

I love onions; however, someone that I cook for does not. Absolutely hates them and can tell whenever they are in the dish. That said, so many recipes call for onion to be added. What can I use ...
16
votes
6answers
22k views

How can I store chopped onions in the fridge without the smell?

I am cooking for a large group and am trying to do as much as I can in advance. One thing I would love to do in advance is chop several onions. I have done this before with a single onion; I stored ...
16
votes
1answer
17k views

How can I peel pearl onions quickly?

I love pearl onions, but I'm always put off by the idea of peeling every single one. Are there any shortcuts to peeling pearl onions?
15
votes
1answer
533 views

A definitive method of dicing an onion

It bugs me that I've just sort of self-taught a method of turning a whole onion into a nicely diced pile. I'm going to assume my method is inefficient and wasteful. Could someone explain how I should ...
15
votes
1answer
3k views

(Why) do onions taste sweeter when cooked at lower temperature?

I use onions to add a sweeter taste to some dishes, for example in tomato sauce for pasta. I cook them in oil, with some salt, before adding the other ingredients. It seems to me that when I turn the ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I cut a blooming onion?

A blooming onion is a deep fried onion which opens up during frying to resemble a flower. Obviously, I start with a giant onion. How do I cut it?
14
votes
2answers
16k views

Why do red onions turn blue or green when cooking sometimes?

I cooked a pot of beans with some red onions last night. Today for lunch when I got them out of the fridge, all of the onions had turned a blue/green colour! They still taste ok, but sure looks ...
13
votes
3answers
18k views

How do I sweat onions?

A recipe calls for me to sweat finely chopped onions. What do I do, and why?
12
votes
11answers
7k views

What can I do with a bunch of onions? [closed]

I accidentally bought two huge bags of onions. What can I do with them before they spoil?
12
votes
4answers
4k views

What's the best way to peel an onion?

I'm a pro at dicing an onion. My issue is always peeling it. The papery skin is so tough to get off, and I'm never sure just how many layers to peel off. Does anyone have any sure-fire tips on how to ...
12
votes
3answers
67k views

Is it safe to eat sprouted onions?

I opened my onion rack lately to find onions that had sprouted several-inch-long green roots... It made me extremely queasy and I threw them out. But I was wondering - would it be safe to eat them / ...
12
votes
5answers
6k views

Which onions to use and how to cook them for an Indian curry recipe that specifies “fry until deep pink”?

One of the curry recipes in the book "50 great curries of India" says "Heat the oil in a cooking pot and fry the onions until deep pink." I think I know what it means when a recipe says "until deep ...
11
votes
6answers
15k views

How do I tone down the intensity of raw onion?

How can I tone down the intensity of raw onion? Some onions have a more acute taste and smell than others of the same type, and I would like to avoid them in salad dish, or making dips with raw onion. ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Why sweat but not brown?

Many recipes require that you sweat vegetables (celery, onions, etc). Why not saute them and brown them a little instead? Would not that develop the flavors even more? Why would you not want that?
10
votes
4answers
60k views

Are Chives and Green Onions the same thing?

Is it OK to substitute one for the other?
10
votes
2answers
952 views

How to store Onion

I've just harvested onions from my garden. I have quite a few and should last me about 3+ months. What is the best way to prepare the onions for storage and how should I store them so they last as ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

What happens to the flavour of meat when you cook it Star Anise with Onions?

What exactly is the chemical reaction that occurs when you cook Star Anise with Onions? According to Heston Blumenthal doing this intensifies the flavour of meat. Ultimately what I want to know is ...
10
votes
2answers
582 views

Need to remove germ from garlic or onion?

My mate always tells me to remove the germ (the center) from garlic and onions, especially if it's turning green. What are the pros and cons of the germs of these plants?
10
votes
2answers
62k views

How much is a small/medium/large onion?

By size or weight - I never seem to know ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the Purpose of Using Onions in (Almost) Every Soup Recipe?

Almost every soup recipe seems to call for sauteed onions. For instance, I'm looking up recipes for squash soup, and every single one calls for onions -- but every soup recipe I can think of uses ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

First onion or first minced meat?

When making e.g. spaghetti sauce, do I: first sweat the onions and then add the minced meat? first brown the minced meat and then add the onions? do both at the same time but in different pans and ...
9
votes
1answer
457 views

Why fry onions without oil and then add oil?

In several recipes I have seen lately, the instructions are to sautee onions and garlic without oil for a few minutes, and then add oil and continue until golden. If it's of any help, these are ...
8
votes
7answers
11k views

Cooking up onions, without oil

For a while now I have been trying to reduce my intake of fried food, or food otherwise cooked with oil. However I still make a lot of things with onions, and I end up sautéeing them with vegetable ...
8
votes
4answers
680 views

Can I freeze caramelised onions?

Caramelised onions seem easier to make in large batches, so could I make a big batch then freeze them in say, ice cube trays, for later use? Or would this have a detrimental effect on them?
8
votes
3answers
509 views

How to best store scallions?

They always get wilted in the crisper pretty quickly. Is there a better way to store them?
8
votes
4answers
608 views

Can you develop an immunity to chopping onions causing tears?

I just chopped a particularly strong onion, I noticed some slight irritation but no tears. I realized then that onions haven't made me cry for years, decades even. I use all kinds of onions and take ...
8
votes
2answers
6k views

Is it safe to eat green onion slime?

I just harvested some scallions from the garden, where it's getting bit chilly (late November in Seattle). After chopping them, I realized that their insides were covered in a gelatinous, slippery, ...
7
votes
5answers
8k views

Why do you need to fry onions and garlic before adding other ingredients to a dish?

I've been using an online Paella recipe that instructs you to sweat some onions for 5 minutes, then add garlic for a few minutes, followed by the vegetables, tomatoes, rice and stock. Is there a ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the difference between caramelized onions and “crispy onions”?

I've searched around for information on this, and seen "caramelized onions" in some places (simple enough to make), and then what can only be described as a VIOLENT reaction indicating that rather ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the correct onion to tomato ratio for North Indian masala sauce?

What's the optimum — or, at least, the most widely used — tomato to onion ratio for making the tomato masala (sauce)? Masala is used as the base for a number of north Indian dishes. Onions are fried ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Should my chicken sit in liquid as it roasts, or not?

For the last chicken I roasted, I used this recipe, slightly modified. The biggest modification was that I added liquid to the pan, it was eyeballed but let's say I used about 1/2 to 1 cup total of a ...
7
votes
2answers
985 views

What can I use to flavor savory chicken stuffing instead of onion?

I made the mistake of thinking I had more onions than I did (those orange bags filled with old onion skins look fuller than they are), and now I don't have any onions left for my savory dressing. Can ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Can Escallion be replaced by onion?

Green onions are said to be milder than onions, which would suggest that if one do not mind the more powerful onion flavour in a particular dish then onions could be used in place of green onions. My ...
6
votes
4answers
383 views

Is there a reason to peel onions for storage or sale?

I typically try to buy organic onions. Recently the only organic onions that are available are already peeled (i.e., have the outer papery skin removed). Why is this being done? Presumably there ...
6
votes
3answers
276 views

Ways to counter the burn of too many scallions?

Last night I made mashed cauliflower and made the mistake of putting in too many scallions before I blended it. The result is a mashed cauliflower that has the distinct burn of eating raw onion. Is ...
6
votes
4answers
8k views

What's the difference between green, white, and red onions?

Being a north Indian, the only onions that I have used and seen others using are red onions. These are used in all Indian traditional dishes. I have seen green onions and white onions in the market ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Onion soup: How to chop the onion and what kind of cheese to put in it?

What is your preferred type of cut for the onion in onion soup? And how do you put the cheese? A deep chunk submerged in each plate, on top? What kind of cheese do you like?
6
votes
1answer
6k views

Does aged onion/garlic turn green when frying?

I was frying onions and garlic the other day and the paste turned green. I had bought the onions/garlics many days ago (20-30 days) I guess. Could that be the reason? There was no fungi or something ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

Is there a difference between green and spring onions?

I've seen some recipes call for green onions but always use spring onions? Is there a difference between them? Is there a better substitute?
6
votes
5answers
4k views

Can you cook pickled onions?

Can you cook hot dishes with pickled onions? I've never seen a recipe which uses them hot, is this just because they don't taste good hot? What hot dishes might be appropriate to put pickled onions ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Can you freeze mirepoix?

Can I chop up and freeze mirepoix raw, or do the vegetables have to be blanched first? Thanks!
6
votes
2answers
224 views

How to make uncooked onion digestable?

I have a problem with uncooked, sliced onion making me and other people feel uncomfortable in the stomach, sometimes whole night. However, when I eat tacos out in restaurants that never happens. Is it ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

Why did my French onion soup with 'red' onions come out tasteless and bland?

I usually make the French onion soup with white onions. The prodecure I normally use is as followed: I slowly caramelize them on a low heat for around 40min. Then I add some sugar, salt and oil ...
5
votes
1answer
396 views

Black layer in an onion

I just sliced an onion and found that there is a large section of one of the layers that's black. What is the black substance? Is it safe to eat? If not, is the rest of the onion safe to eat? The ...
5
votes
1answer
254 views

When should you sweat mirepoix, and when should you sauté it?

The ingredients of mirepoix are consistently described as onion, carrot and celery in a 2:1:1 ratio, but there isn't much consistency advice on how to cook it. Most recipes I've found say to sauté it, ...
5
votes
3answers
978 views

Sautéing big batch of onions

So I like making pasta sauce with lots of sautéed onions, but to properly sauté, at least as far as I understand it, I can only put a limited amount of onions into my one medium sized pan. I am fed ...