The Oil Mistake You Need To Avoid When Frying Shallots

bowl of fried shallots
bowl of fried shallots - Ary Pranggawan/Shutterstock

Shallots are perhaps the most underrated member of the onion family.  Sweet, peppery, and possessing a subtle garlicky finish, the aromatic bulb vegetable can not only be used to season and add breadth of flavor to a myriad of dishes, but they are a central staple in many Asian and Middle-Eastern dishes. And while yes, they are indeed more delicate in flavor than their more powerful counterpart, the onion, they still pack a flavorful punch — and when fried, they serve as a tasty texture upgrade to everything from soups and salads to burgers and even your favorite casserole.

But what if there was a foolproof tip to deliver perfectly cooked crispy fried shallots every time?  There is: Put your shallots into the cooking oil while it's still cold. Turns out, warming your shallots with the oil instead of heating your oil first goes a long way to keeping your shallots from becoming soggy, preventing them from browning too quickly, and giving you that delightfully delicious crunch you're looking for.

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The Best Way To Fry Shallots

hand pouring oil into frying pan from a plastic bottle
hand pouring oil into frying pan from a plastic bottle - New Africa/Shutterstock

Frying your shallots to deliciously crisp perfection comes down to a few simple but imperative steps. First, you'll want to make sure you cut your shallots properly — you want them thinly sliced and uniform (about 2 millimeters thick) so they'll fry up crispy but not so thin that they'll burn. Using a mandoline will help you ensure that your shallots are sliced evenly.

The other essential component to successfully fry shallots is using the right oil. While you can fry crispy shallots in any type of cooking oil, peanut, canola, or avocado oil are recommended, as they have a high smoke point and a mild, neutral taste that won't compete with the shallot's flavor. But the part that can seriously make or break the success of your fried shallots is your oil temperature. A common mistake cooks make when frying shallots — which inevitably ruins their efforts — is waiting for the oil to become hot and bubbly to place their shallots into the skillet. They cook quickly, and putting them into your oil when it's already hot will likely result in burnt shallots. Instead, submerge them in the oil while it's still at room temperature, then warm them over medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. This will allow time for the moisture in the raw shallots to dry before they brown and help your shallots become the delightfully crunchy and perfectly golden garnish you were hoping for.

Delicious Pairings For Your Fried Shallots

Rice noodle dish topped with fried shallots
Rice noodle dish topped with fried shallots - Ariyani Tedjo/Shutterstock

Fried shallots make a delicious, versatile addition to a wide array of dishes across cultural cuisines, and they pair well with a variety of flavors. If you'd like to experiment beyond your standard baked potato, green bean casserole, or barbecue burger, try adding some fried shallots to your red lentil soup. Topping the warm, creamy soup with the crunch of the shallots is a satisfying meeting of textures, and the salty, garlicky finish of the shallots will pair well with the turmeric and other hearty spices in the soup. Fried shallots also make a delicious upgrade to a good slice of avocado toast. Add some smoked salmon or bacon for complementary saltiness and some garlic and herbs, and you've got a robust flavor pairing and a complete texture win.

Alternatively, mixing fried shallots into a creamy scramble is an excellent way to enhance the rich, buttery flavor of the eggs while creating a fluffy and crunchy texture pairing that's perfect to start your day with. Go ahead and season your eggs with some fresh garlic to bring out the zesty flavor of the shallots, and top it off with a dollop of sour cream — and even some black truffle shavings — for a delectable dish that is pure luxury.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.