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Peeling shallots...there must be an easier way

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Garlic and onions are a cinch. But for some reason, peeling shallots seems a much more arduous task. Typically I use my paring knife or just my fingers, but perhaps you could lend me some much needed insight. What methods do you use?

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  1. Sometimes, and only sometimes, if you press down on the Shallots with the blade of a knife, it helps to peel them. Kind of like what you can do to Garlic.

    1. A rubber-sheet garlic peeler woks OK. I also use the side of my Meat Cleaver to 'press' the Shallot / Garlic. This ruptures the skin a bit.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Lanny

        What's a rubber-sheet garlic peeler? I've never heard of it. Thanks!

        1. re: Pat Hammond

          It's literally a small textured, square rubber "cloth". You roll it up with the garlic in the middle, give it a little strength (or a smush) and the garlic paper comes off.

          I personally just use the side of my chef's knife :-)

          Mr. Taster

          1. re: Mr. Taster

            Thanks. Your method is mine, too.

            1. re: Mr. Taster

              Sounds like the rubber thingys that I use to open stubborn jars!

        2. I don't really understand this being an issue, but perhaps you have a different kind of shallots where you live than I have here?...my shallots are the size of a fingerling potato and about the same shape...diameter of a small onion, but long, like a fingerling. Anywhooo...I just top and tail, slit the side and peel the skin and first layer if necessary. I'd love to know about different kinds tho! Anyone?

          2 Replies
          1. re: Cyndy

            My experience as well.

            1. re: Cyndy

              Much of the time that I see them they are about twice the size of a garlic clove, no more.

            2. I hear you... shallots can be a chore. Sometimes the long, larger shallots (french shallots) are available but when they are not those little shallots are a bear to peel. (They are about 1/2 the size of a head of garlic)

              Are the little ones the ones you mean? I top and tail, split in half, and crush with the side of the knife to help loosen the skin. Still not an easy task though.

              1. I blanch them for a few seconds. The skin comes right off.

                1. Cut the tips off first, then apply a spoon of oil to them and leave it for some time. Just hold them and press it, the onion pops out, the skin will remain in your hand

                  1. My market sells them already peeled!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ctfoodie

                      I wonder how they do it at your market? I saw a thing on Chow about peeling ginger using a spoon. Been doing that ever since for ginger, but I haven't tried it on shallots. I don't use them that much because they're $4 per pound here.