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Pickling Onions

lemarais Feb 28, 2013 09:07 AM

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. splatgirl RE: lemarais Feb 28, 2013 09:55 AM

    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. r
      rasputina RE: lemarais Feb 28, 2013 10:35 AM

      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. chefj RE: lemarais Feb 28, 2013 02:41 PM

        There are lots of recipes and advice out there to get you started

        1 Reply
        1. re: chefj
          lemarais RE: chefj Feb 28, 2013 05:27 PM

          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. paulj RE: lemarais Feb 28, 2013 08:49 PM

          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
            chefj RE: paulj Mar 1, 2013 12:14 PM

            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. JungMann RE: lemarais Mar 1, 2013 09:30 AM

            2 days is not going to be long enough for the fermentation. Here's a website with some instructions for lacto-fermenting onions.

            1. JMF RE: lemarais Mar 1, 2013 10:51 AM

              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.

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