Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Step by Step: How to prepare Fried Shallots

Shallots are called bawang merah kecil (small red onions) in Malay. Do not confuse shallots with green onions or scallions. Shallots tend to be more expensive than onions but their sweeter, milder, more complex flavor are worth it,  no wonder they are much favored by chefs. I am quite lucky that shallots are not that expensive and affordable unlike Down Under, i was told that they are cost double digits $$. 

I can't do without shallots, there will be no sambal, curries, kerabu(salad) etc.  One most desired condiment in Asian Cuisine is sliced deep-fried shallots, although they are readily available deep-fried but they are not the same as when they are deep-fried from scratch at home.  It might seem tedious and finicky when deep frying to obtain perfect fried shallots but with a little patience and attention, it can be done.  When frying, do not answer the phone or doorbell, a blink of the eye, it will be burned.  Constant stirring of the sliced shallots will ensure the shallots will be evening fried to perfection and the most crucial is - remove the shallots from the oil when they are golden.  Residual heat will continue to further fry the shallots to golden brown.


2 lbs shallots
4 cups cooking oil
2 tsp salt

Steep shallots in cold tap water for 30 minutes,  the skin of the shallots will be soaked through and easier to peel.

Peel and slice shallots (i use the mandolin for even slices).
Sprinkle salt over the sliced shallots and leave for 10 - 15 minutes.

Wash them under running water for a few seconds and then squeeze the liquid out, as much as possible.
Pat dry, loosen the slices and spread  the shallots on top of kitchen towel. It is important to dry them as much as possible to shorten the frying time

Heat cooking oil in heavy pan / wok to medium heat.  Toss in the sliced shallots and deep fry until they turn light golden and all the moisture is cooked out, Stirring constantly.

 Remove shallots from oil with a spider strainer and drain on paper towel lined tray

Let cool

Store in an airtight container.

4 comments: said...

Dear Lily

Thanks for sharing this wonderful yet simple condiment.

Minty's Kitchen

Katie Foong said...

Tips like puttng some salt in the shallots & squeezing out the excess water from shallots helps in the frying!

Rebecca Lee said...

I'm a very lazy and love shortcut woman. I sliced 3-4 shallots or chopped 4 garlic. Put it ( 1 type only ) in a bowl and add in oil to cover it then put in the M'wave for 2 mins, then stir and minute by minute and keep an eye of the boiling shallots or garlic in the m'wave. Once you see a brown spot in it, stir and continue until light brown and remove at once and stir and when golden enough, I will drain it from the hot oil.

Unknown said...


this is my favorite way of frying shallots in the microwave only if i am doing a few shallots. I do not use alot of oil, just enough oil to coat the shallots and it will crisp up very evenly. Marinating with salt and squeezing as much juice out of the shallots, cut microwaving time.

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