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Pickling Onions

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I want to try to pickle some onions to eat with marinated herring--

I have a brainstorm that I'm going to try to pickle them in just salt water, no vinegar. They do this with cucumbers (Half-sour) so why not onions?

I was thinking to get them going for 2 days at room temp and then change the brine and refrigerate for a week. Grand experiment.

Any thoughts?

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  1. I would find a fermented pickle recipe and follow that. I have no idea if it will work--is there something about cucumbers that supports fermentation that onions do not possess?

    1. I'd use a 2% brine and leave it for 3-10 days ( until the fermentation has obviously ended) at room temp ( 68-72 degrees) in the dark ( light kills lactic acid bacteria) in a non reactive container that is air locked and then put it in the fridge for another 1-4 weeks, until it no longer tastes salty.

      Check out pickl-it.com for info on how to ferment almost anything. Her methods are the only ones I've used that are consistently good.

      1. There are lots of recipes and advice out there to get you started
        https://www.google.com/search?q=ferme...

        1 Reply
        1. re: chefj

          Wow! Thank you! I couldn't find any of these because I was searching for "pickled" instead of "fermented" onions!

          It's also great to know that others also like pickled/fermented onions without vinegar.

          Now I may order one of those Pick!It jars. Thanks again.

        2. Quick pickled onions are popular throughout Latin America, though I don't know if this style would go with herring. The onions are sliced, blanched briefly, and then left to sit with salt and lime juice (a few hours to a day). Red onions are preferred because the end product is a pretty pink.

          1 Reply
          1. re: paulj

            They are usually made with Vinegar or Citrus Juice. The poster specified no Vinegar and I would assume that extends to Lime/Lemon Juice

          2. 2 days is not going to be long enough for the fermentation. Here's a website with some instructions for lacto-fermenting onions.
            http://www.deliciousobsessions.com/20...

            1. If pickling/fermenting in a brine, a 5% salt by weight to water by weight ratio is correct. Use 2% salt when pickling packed/sliced like sauerkraut. You may want to use some whey liquid from yogurt as a starter.

              I've found that with onions, using a vinegar pickling brine with herbs and spices, tastes better. Even then they really need 2-3 months to hit perfection. I have used variations on English pickled onion recipes.