Fermented onions are crisp and crunchy with a wonderfully mild flavor. Perfect for anyone who is typically sensitive to raw onions.
Fermenting onions is a great option for anyone who finds raw onion to be too strong. The mild flavor is easy to digest. They last for several months in the fridge. And are the perfect replacement for any recipe calling for raw onions.
Serving Fermented onions
My kids love snacking pickled vegetables and traditional pickles… but I love fermented onions. They are probably the most versatile fermented vegetable in my larder.
Don’t believe me? Here’s just a few ways I serve fermented onions:
- Amazing in cheese sandwiches, particularly grilled cheese sandwiches
- For salads, like Nicoise or cobb.
- In potato salad or deviled eggs
- Hamburgers, hot dogs or charcuterie
- And the classic use is a Gibson’s martini
Using a starter culture
Onions don’t need a starter culture. However, it’s a great way to add flavor. Personally, I enjoy the added tanginess or sweetness that can come from a culture.
Feel free to use any probiotic or fermented cultured. However, here are a few recommendations:
- For a bit of acidity use cultured apple cider vinegar or kombucha.
- Water kefir is perfect for adding sweetness.
- Whey from making strained yogurt or kefir cheese will soften the onions, though it can also make them a bit slimy.
- Vegetable starters are a good replacement for a wild-culture ferment. I recommend using one if you have issues with mold or poor indoor air quality.
Fermented onions are a crisp and crunchy pickled onion The mild flavor is perfect for anyone sensitive to raw onions. They are delicious with cheese or sliced into salads.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 1 quart jar 1x
- Category: Pickles
- Method: Fermented
- Cuisine: Probiotic
- Diet: Vegan
- 3 cups small cocktail onions or 2 large onions, sliced
- 1 Tbsp non-iodized salt
- 1 to 2 1/2 cups water (chlorine-free)
- 1/4 cup culture (optional – see section above for details)
- Prepare the onions by slicing off the ends and peeling them. Pearl onions are easier to peel if they are submerged in cold water for about 10 minutes. Do not blanch them, as you don’t want to kill the natural bacterial culture on the onion. Large onions can be halved and sliced into thin rings.
- Mix the salt and 1 cup of water in a quart-sized (1 L) jar to make a brine. Mix in the culture, if you are using one. Onions don’t need a starter culture, however, it is a nice way to add flavor. See the section above for details.
- Add the onions to the jar and top with a weight. Onions float, so it’s important to use a weight to keep them submerged in the brine. Add enough additional water to fully submerge the onions. The exact amount required will depend on whether you’re using pearl onions or sliced onions, and if you’re using a starter.
- Leave the onions somewhere dark to ferment for up to 1 week. They can be left in a dark location for up to a year, however, you need to take extra care to ensure a good ferment. See the notes for details.
- After fermenting, store in the fridge and use within 1-2 months.
- If you are sensitive to raw onions, make fermented slices rather than whole pearl onions, as they will be easier to digest.
- To ensure a good long ferment (more than one week), make sure to sanitize your jar. It’s also important to use a fermentation-specific jar that will allow gas to escape while preventing contamination. Personally, I like fido jars.
- It’s okay if you don’t have a good fitting weight. Just be sure to stir your onions every two days, so that all onions have a chance to be below the brine.
Keywords: party food, cocktail, gluten free, keto, vegan, paleo, mild, easy, fall, winter, holiday