If you are one of those people (like I used to be!) who buys their crispy shallots from the local Asian market then shame on you! No seriously, it's totally acceptable to do so. BUT, once I started making my homemade crispy shallots I couldn’t believe I had wasted $$ on buying them. Read on and see how SIMPLE and DELISH these shallots are.
HOMEMADE CRISPY SHALLOTS
If you have eaten Asian cuisine then you have probably seen these guys sprinkled on top of many a dish. They are hugely popular in Vietnamese cuisine and when I traveled through Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos I remember having these little beauties regularly. Although if truth be told being in my early 20’s and traveling with a group of guys my memories are a touch cloudy!!
They offer a beautiful savory & crunchy texture to things like fried rice, curry, noodle dishes, Thai style salads or even mince them up and add them mince meat when making meatballs for something different. An added bonus, if you are smart then keep the oil and you have a beautifully flavorful shallot oil that once cooled and strained can be used to make salad dressings, aioli’s or use it to make that fried rice/noodle dish!
MAKING CRISPY SHALLOTS
Don’t get me wrong a sharp knife does the trick but for speed and precision a mandoline is WAY better. Even slices is key to even cooking. Shallots can turn from a beautiful golden brown to a bitter burnt shallot in seconds OR on the flip side not cook fully and be soggy if some are cut too thick or thin.
2. Room temperature oil
This may seem weird at first because we are always told to cook/fry in hot oil. Well, in this case if we drop shallots into hot oil they will just burn instantly. Using room temp oil allows the shallots to slowly cook and become beautifully crispy.
Essential in making fried shallots. You can use a small sieve or plastic spoon with holes in it. If using a sieve make sure it’s either smaller than the saucepan you are using so you can scoop them out or have a second sauce pan to drain the shallots/hot oil into.
4. Kitchen towel
Once drained it’s best to turn the shallots out onto kitchen towel or dab them with kitchen towel straight away. This helps remove excess oil and stops then getting soggy.
This is probably the most important one. I can’t give an exact time on how long they take to make but generally it’s taken around 10-12 minutes for me to make mine. The thing about them is it’s a watching game. Once the shallots just start to turn golden brown they need to be removed instantly or else prepare for dark burnt tasting shallots.
Allow to cool and store in an airtight container. Best (like a lot of cooked food - except stews!) eaten on the day of. I have my crispy shallots stored in an airtight container now for the last 2 weeks and they are still crunchy and tasty to me. Keep and use within 1 month of making them.
Well - that just about sums it up from me today. Check out the all important recipe below and don’t forget to subscribe and check me out on Instagram!!
Happy Cooking and Happy Eating Friends!!!
- 3 shallots thinly sliced
- 300 ml vegetable oil
- 1 pinch salt
- Slice shallots thinly and evenly - using a mandoline gives you the best results
- Place oil and shallots into a medium saucepan and turn onto a high heat until they start to bubble - approx 5/6 minutes
- Turn the heat to low and cook until shallots start to turn a light golden brown - approx 8/10 minutes. Pay close attention to the shallots at this point as they are quick to burn.
- Remove shallots from oil and let drain on paper towel, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and enjoy!
- medium saucepan
- sieve or slotted spoon
- plate/baking tray
- use a mandoline when slicing shallots. It's quicker, easier and you will get even slices!
- store crispy shallots in an airtight container and they will last for a few weeks if you haven't demolished them already!
- i used canola oil but any neutral oil will work. Bonus is strain the oil through muslin cloth and you have yourself some beautifully flavoured shallot oil.