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Jan 27, 2010 12:17 PM

When to salt onions?

I was wondering if there is protocol for when you salt cooked onions.

Sometimes I see people salt onions as soon as they get in the pan. Other times, they wait.

Does it matter if you are sweating them or sauteing them or caramelizing them?


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  1. "if you’re sweating vegetables, you should add salt intermittently to help leech out the moisture, says Lauren Martey, a research and development chef for Diamond Crystal Salt. But if you’re caramelizing onions or browning mushrooms you don’t want to draw out moisture, for a better caramelization of the sugars, so you should wait until the end to salt."

    This is from a prior post on Chowhound.

    1. I have heard, but have not tried, that salting onions and than rinsing them before adding to salad, removes any trace of bitterness.

      2 Replies
      1. re: serious

        That is true. If I'm using raw sliced onions for something, I often soak them for 5-10 minutes in warm salt water to make them less sharp. But that's not what the OP is asking.

        1. re: small h

          Quickly got off track since this salting for salads idea is in my brain. Read it in a novel about Turkey.