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Shallots/Too Hot & Bitter

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I thought shallots are supposed to be the mild, sweet version of onions but the ones that I've gotten are just as strong, or worse, than onions. Living in a small rural town in Iowa, we don't get a lot of thing that the "big city folk" have access to, so maybe that's the problem. Heck, I can't even find fire roasted tomatoes anywhere around here.

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  1. Are they old and beginning to sprout? That might be why. I've never had a shallot that is hot and bitter but I usaually can get pretty fresh shallots.

    1. Shallots are supposed to be fairly mild and a bit garlic-y.

      How are you using them?

      1. Are you, perhaps, browning them? They get quite nasty and bitter if you do. Saute them only until translucent.

        1. No sprouts and I hadn't cooked them. I was trying to just chop them and use as a garnish,raw.
          Thanks!

          1. Are you sure that they were actually shallots, maybe the store mislabelled them? What did they look like, sort of a cross between a garlic clove and an onion or something else. Never had one raw though, I'm guessing they might be stronger than those purple onions when raw but not compared to white or yellow.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Sally599

              i'm wondering if they were pearl onions?

            2. Just like rinsing sliced onions in cold water before eating raw, there's an old trick to bitter sliced or minced shallots: steeping them in red wine vinegar for 10-15 minutes and then draining before using.