Questions tagged [onions]

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

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253
votes
20answers
42k 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 ...
41
votes
5answers
14k views

How to know when a recipe shouldn't contain onion/garlic?

When travelling at a campsite, our resident cook made a Bolognese, and for fun I asked the Italian campers what they thought about it (playing on the stereotype that they are serious about their food) ...
38
votes
12answers
24k views

Why use onions in cooking?

Onions are an ingredient in almost every recipe. I hate the taste(flavour) of them (I know I might be the only one). I always try to avoid eating them and try to pick them out of the food. Seeing that ...
27
votes
7answers
7k views

How to keep onions from sinking in a salad

How to keep onions from sinking in a salad? I like raw and cooked onions. I like raw onions in a lot of salads but the problem is diced onions end up in the bottom of the bowl.
27
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
25
votes
5answers
6k views

Is there a word for the flavour shared by onion, spring onion, shallot, leek, and chive?

Among the flavours of onions, spring onions, shallots, leeks, and chives there is one that they share. Is there a name for it?
23
votes
1answer
6k views

Why stud an onion?

Why do some recipes call for studding onions, i.e., cutting little slits in the onion and putting cloves in? For example, when I cook a big piece of meat like cow's tongue, what difference would it ...
23
votes
11answers
261k 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 ...
22
votes
9answers
121k 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 ...
22
votes
4answers
11k 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 ...
21
votes
7answers
45k 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 ...
21
votes
7answers
224k views

Are Chives and Green Onions the same thing?

Is it OK to substitute one for the other?
21
votes
5answers
235k views

Is it safe to eat sprouted onions? [duplicate]

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 / ...
20
votes
3answers
13k views

Onion and Garlic, a no-no?

I had an Italian flatmate once who was on the brink of lynching me when he saw I used garlic and onion in one dish. He said that - at least in Italian cuisine - thats an absolute no-no. You can use ...
20
votes
2answers
84k 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 ...
19
votes
8answers
78k 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. ...
19
votes
4answers
333k views

How much is a small/medium/large onion?

By size or weight - I never seem to know ...
19
votes
1answer
10k 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 ...
19
votes
11answers
81k 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, ...
18
votes
5answers
99k 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 ...
18
votes
4answers
10k 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 ...
17
votes
6answers
7k views

Is it ok to skip onions in a recipe?

so this yet another attempt of mine to start cooking and yet again I'm frustrated by the perverse need of every single recipe to include onions. I hate onions, their flavour, their texture etc. and I ...
16
votes
5answers
25k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
13k 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
26k 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?
16
votes
1answer
919 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
2k 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?
15
votes
4answers
21k views

If you 'caramelize' an onion, does an onion contain sugar?

I love the taste of lightly fried sliced onion. I've heard this referred to as 'caramelizing' the onion. Is there sugar in the layers of an onion that is changed to caramel, or is this just a phrase?...
14
votes
3answers
59k views

How do I sweat onions?

A recipe calls for me to sweat finely chopped onions. What do I do, and why?
13
votes
11answers
8k views

How should I fry onions without burning them?

Lots of recipes begin with something along the lines of "fry onions in oil until tender/soft/translucent". When I do this I often find that the onions end up burning before they have softened. What ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

How well does it work to just throw in all the ingredients and boil?

I'm wondering about this recipe. It tempts me because I'm really lazy. But I'm skeptical because I've always been taught to sauté onions first, then progressively add other ingredients, starting with ...
13
votes
6answers
13k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
26k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
5k 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?
12
votes
4answers
47k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
6k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
2k 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?
11
votes
3answers
22k 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?
10
votes
7answers
23k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
9
votes
6answers
28k views

Why do you marinade steak with onions?

Most recipes call for onions when marinading steak, but...why?
9
votes
4answers
797 views

How to best store scallions?

They always get wilted in the crisper pretty quickly. Is there a better way to store them?
9
votes
1answer
33k views

Substitute for Onion Powder

I live in Europe but use many US recipes. These often call for onion powder which is hard to find here. Diced or minced onion is often not a good alternative and whilst garlic powder is easier to ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does my onion have very few, very thick layers, and a hollow center?

My girlfriend sliced into an onion this evening to find this, …this is weird to me. There are very few layers, the innermost layer was exceedingly thick, and it's hollow. For reference, I'm used to ...
8
votes
2answers
910 views

What are some ways to season that don't rely on garlic and onions?

I am looking for some alternative ways to season food. I am very familiar with currying, pesto, and chili. My difficulty is that each of these relies on onions, tomatoes and garlic. What are some ...
8
votes
2answers
9k views

Is it bad to refrigerate cut up onions?

Can we store cut up onions in the fridge or do onions go bad in the fridge? Do they become poisonous? Can onions be safely stored in the refrigerator after peeling? Also how can you tell if an onion ...
8
votes
4answers
1k 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
5answers
10k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Appropriate process for bulk sauteing onions?

In doing some bulk cooking for a vacation, I needed to cook 12 sliced onions and later 6 minced onions for two different dishes; both as a first step in a sauce. In both cases, I used a large Le ...