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Aug 1, 2010 10:03 PM

How many people really use shallots? I generally don't.

I realize that if a recipe calls for shallots, it isn't calling for much but I can't see paying $3-4 per pound for a small, mild onion. You can get onions for $1 per pound or so.

I usually just use a little red onion. I have even seen recipes say you can use red onions instead of shallots.

By the way, before somebody brings it up, there was a thread on shallots vs onions a couple of years ago. here it is:

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  1. I do. :)

    I love the smoothness they get. They're pleasant in stir fries and etouffee. Raw potato pancakes!

    Maybe it's your location on planet earth. Here, the produce stand has big bin of shallots next to the onion and garlic bins. It's more costly than onions (1.67 vs .90) but not much. The farmer's markets usually have some nice shallots too. I remember cooking for my coworkers when I traveled with carnival and being pretty shocked at how much crawfish, bell peppers, and shallots cost around Chicago.

    1. I do sometimes if I have them at home but mostly I use yellow or red onions

      1 Reply
      1. re: L987

        I have rarely used the shallots in cooking. I believe they have a different taste. I substitute red onion or yellow onion,. Also used vidalia onion.

      2. They are invaluable for pan sauces, where the delicate flavor won't take over the sauce. For everything else, I just sub in whatever onion I have on hand.

        2 Replies
        1. re: RealMenJulienne

          Agreed, and also with MMRuth re: salad dressings. They're lighter in flavor and don't overwhelm what you're using them in. I can usually buy them loose in my local supermarkets, so I don't pay a fortune for them - I buy what I need. But they also keep for quite some time in a bin in my stairwell to the fact, they seem to keep better than regular onions.

          1. re: LindaWhit

            Double agree. I used to HATE onions growing up, even cooking with them. Shallots brought me back, and i still use them for salads, salad dressings, and pan sauces too. i use them more than red or yellow onions, but about the same as i use garlic. i like sweet onions (maui or some other) better than reds or yellows. And shallots at my neighborhood latino stores are cheap, i can't remember exact price either, but cheap. but even if they weren't cheap, they taste better to me, so I'd use them over yellow or red onions.

        2. I almost always use them rather than onion or garlic. The flavor is so much mellower while retaining the flavor, not sharp like their fellow alliums. And they don't cost anywhere near $3-4 lb, you should look for an ethnic type grocery for your produce shopping.
          I'll have to look at the exact price next time, I think around $1 or $1.50, but I know I get 5 or 6 big ones every week for a negliable cost.

          1. I don't use them as much as onion for sure but I always have some on hand (and they keep forever on my counter! amazing!)...for certain recipes, they do make a difference! Aren't there a few Thai or Indian recipes that call for crispy-fried shallot slices as garnish??? ooooh, they are delightful! I can usually find them only 2 bulbs to a box at Publix and it's rare that I find them loose.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Val

              If you have access to an Asian market, you will find jars of crispy-fried shallots (red onion and garlic, too) for very short money.

              1. re: greygarious

                Thanks for the tip Grey...I swear I find new and interesting products every single time I go to our Asian store here, it never fails.