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Peeling pearl onions

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I hope that someone has a "trick" for peeling pearl onions that is fairly quick and easy. I'm putting them in a beef stew I'm making for guests tomorrow, because I just love their taste and texture when cooked, but I ABHOR peeling them because it takes so long.

TIA for any assistance!

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  1. I did a bunch of them over the holidays. I don't think there's a very easy way of doing it. I blanch them, snip off the root end, and carefully squeeze them out of the outer skin, from the tip toward the opening. I kept losing a few layers of the onion if I tried to speed up the process. It's the best way I know, though. I'll be interested in a better technique too!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Pat Hammond

      Unfortunately, I don't think there's a better way.

    2. I buy frozen peeled ones.

      Much easier, and *very* hard to tell the difference in a stew. In fact, as is the case with many vegetables, frozen ones can be in better condition and quality than the ones sitting in the bins.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Karl S.

        Thanks, Karl, I will do that NEXT time; I've already bought the fresh ones...

        1. re: LIsaM

          I. fully. understand.

          I learned the hard way; peeling was not as effortless even with blanching -- I hacked through a number of 'em.

        2. re: Karl S.

          i second the "buying frozen" response. MUCH easier. but since you have fresh, then i also second the blanching the onions method.
          now, i haven't tried my next suggestion but it seems to me that it would/should work. don a pair of thin latex gloves (not sure if kitchen gloves will work but you can try that too) and rub (with a good amount of pressure) the onions between your first 3 fingers until the skin is loose enough to peel off.
          good luck!

          1. re: angella

            Hi Karl, Angela, and Pat,

            FYI, tried the blanching method- dropped the onions into a pot of vigorously boiling water for 5 minutes, drained and cooled in a colander for about 15 minutes, and they slipped out of their wee coats quite easily.

            Thank you!