Let’s be very clear here, crispy caramelized onions cannot be made in 10 minutes!
Caramelized onions are a decadent, secret taste in many recipes, internationally. Caramelized onions are terrific in soups, on meats, fish, egg dishes, in sandwiches, pizza toppings, in pastas, or adorning appetizer platters. This secret must be made in volume, frozen in small plastic-wrap 2 Tbsp packets -or- if crispy enough (as this recipe is meant to be), stored in glass jars with a tight lid. Pieces will not stick to each other and can be easily loosened to be used as needed. When caramelized onion is needed in a recipe, it will be ready in the freezer.
Crispy Caramelized Onion
Recipe by: Fae’s Twist & Tango (fae-magazine.com)
◊ Any type of onion will do, but I recommend sweet onions for ultimate results, fried to crispy golden-brown with a condensed, sweet-flavor. Yellow onions are my next choice.
◊ Ratio of 150 ml/5 fl oz vegetable oil to 454 g/ 1 lb of already peeled onion is needed (each 454 g/ 1 lb yield >90 grams/ >1 cup of caramelized onion.)
◊ After peeling, cut the onions in half, from root end to the stem end, putting the cut side on the board (cut in half, against the grain if onion is very large, then hold the two sides tightly together), slice in 6 mm/ ¼ inch thick (or thinner) slices.
NOTE: The frying process will take approximately 35~60 minutes (depending on volume in the pot, or wider the space the faster the frying). For best results, limit to 1 Kg/2.2 lbs onions per 25cm/10″ pot.
◊ Caramelized onions tend to have a strong residue smell. Turn on the stove’s exhaust-fan. Open windows and close doors of any room close by. Cover hair with a shower cap!
◊ In a deep, non-stick pot, add oil and set on medium-high heat. When oil begins to ripple, it is hot enough. Add the onions. Once it starts boiling, lower the heat to medium or a little lower depending on the stove.
◊ Frying process needs to be watched throughout.
◊ In ample oil and heat, onions start sweating. Sweating ensures that onion pieces soften and caramelize completely through, not just on the outer edges.
◊ Stir every minute for even browning, until the onions are crispy golden-brown (color seen in the photo top right below).
NOTE: After this stage, onions quickly burn. Timing is very important. Caramelized onions continue to cook even after drained, while cooling.
◊ Crisp, nearly-burnt onions are terrific with almost anything savory. However, if burned, they become inedible. Be extra cautious.
◊ When golden-brown (like the photo), for small quantity, quickly scoop out with a large, flat strainer in to a dish or for larger quantity, pour into a larger fine-meshed strainer/colander, placed over a heat-resistant bowl. Do not let the drained, caramelized onions sit in the drained oil. When the caramelized onions are correctly fried, drained oil is completely clear (not foggy/milky).
◊ When drained adequately, spread them on a large plate for quick cooling. While cooling fluff the pieces with fork so piece wouldn’t stick to each other. Cool completely before storing.
◊ How to store in the freezer: If the caramelized onions are somewhat soggy (limp and not crispy), wrap in small plastic-wrap packets of 2 Tbsp each, stored in resealable sandwich bags -or- if crispy enough (as this recipe is meant to be), stored in glass jars with a tight lid. Pieces will not stick to each other and can be easily loosened to be used as needed.
Other Option: To garnish a dish with thin, spiral-like tangled coil caramelized onion, slice the onion into extra super t
hin ‘rings’ across the equator. Separate the circles, remove the film thin membrane between the rings. Deep fry in super hot oil and scoop out as soon as it turns golden. Form it in desired shape while hot and lay on a plate to cool crispy.
So, what’s cooking in your kitchen?