If you like tangy and vibrant flavours, then these red pickled onions are for you. So easy to make and yet so flavourful. Add them to your tacos, quesadillas, salads, burgers, etc. You can add them to really anything that needs a little kick.
These vibrant red pickled onions infused with lots of flavour are not only visually appealing, but also delicious. They are the perfect complement for tacos, such as with this achiote chicken tacos or eat them in a salad with nopales (cactus paddles).
Any way you choose, red pickled onions are a flavour bomb!
Why you'll love this recipe
- Quick and easy. These red pickled onions come together in 15 minutes of cooking time and best of all is that they require basic ingredients.
- Versatile flavour bomb. Goes well with tacos, salads, quesadillas, burgers, sandwiches, etc. I consider it one of the basic condiments in my fridge.
- Pairs well with several cuisines. They are so versatile that you can even add them to your wok stir fries, kebabs, falafel, etc.
You'll need the following ingredients to make these delicious red pickled onions:
Chiles jalapeño: can be substituted with chiles serrano if you want the condiment more spicy.
Vinegar: you can use either white or apple cider vinegar. The main difference between the two besides obviously the colour, is that white vinegar is more acidic than apple cider vinegar. White vinegar is mostly used for pickling whereas apple cider vinegar is used for salad dressings.
This recipe calls for white vinegar, but I always advocate to cook with what you have so if you only have apple cider vinegar, then use that.
How to make Red Pickled Onions: Step by Step
Step 1: Toast the coriander and cumin seeds in a saucepan at medium heat for 2 minutes.
Step 2: Add in the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt and bring to a boil.
Step 3: Remove from the heat and add in the onions and chile jalapeño. Submerge them to get covered with the liquid.
Step 4: Place content in a clean, airtight container and keep in the fridge once cooled down.
- Slice the onions thinly: Thinly sliced onions pickle more evenly and absorb the pickling liquid better. You can use a sharp knife or a mandolin slicer to achieve consistent slices.
- Let them marinate: Once you've poured the pickling liquid over the sliced onions, let them marinate for at least 30 minutes to develop their flavor. For best results, refrigerate the onions for a few hours or overnight, allowing them to fully pickle and soften.
- Transfer to an airtight container: After pickling the onions, transfer them to a clean, airtight container. Glass jars with screw-top lids or food storage containers with tight-fitting lids work well. Make sure the container is thoroughly cleaned and dried before use.
- Submerge the onions in the pickling liquid: Ensure that the onions are completely submerged in the pickling liquid. This helps preserve their freshness and flavor while preventing spoilage. If necessary, press the onions down gently with a clean utensil to ensure they are fully covered.
- Store in the refrigerator: Red pickled onions should always be stored in the refrigerator. The cool environment helps inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and ensures the onions remain fresh and safe to eat.
- Consume within recommended time: Consume them within one month at most for optimal flavour and texture. If you notice an off odor, unusual texture, mold growth, or discoloration, discard the onions immediately to prevent any potential foodborne illnesses.
Additions and Substitutions
- Experiment with seasonings: While the basic pickling liquid consists of vinegar, water, sugar, and salt, you can enhance the flavor by adding various seasonings. Some popular options include black peppercorns, mustard seeds, garlic cloves, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, or even herbs like thyme or rosemary.
- Use a combination of vinegars: While white vinegar is commonly used for pickling, you can experiment with different vinegars to add complexity to your pickled onions. Apple cider vinegar, red or white wine vinegar, can all contribute unique flavours.
Frequently Asked Questions
The vibrant pink color of pickled red onions is a result of a chemical reaction that occurs between the pigments in the onion and the acid in the pickling solution.
The variety of red onion you are using can affect the color outcome. Some red onion varieties may have less intense pigmentation resulting in a less vibrant pink color. Try using a different variety of red onion known for its deep red color if you prefer a more vibrant pickled onion.
Another factor that plays a crucial role in achieving the pink color is the pH level of your pickling solution. If the pH of the pickling liquid is not acidic enough, it may not trigger the color change. So try adding a bit of lemon juice or another acidic ingredient to boost the acidity.
Ready to make this recipe?
Of course! Remember to post your comments and/or questions below. I always like hearing from you.
Red Pickled Onions
- ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
- ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 cup white vinegar can be substituted with apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup sugar can use white or brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 red onion sliced thin
- 1 jalapeño chile stemmed and sliced into rings
- Toast coriander and cumin seeds in a pan at medium heat for 2 mins. Stir constantly to avoid burning the spices.
- Add vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt.
- Remove pan from the heat. Incorporate the onions and chile jalapeño. Press down so the onions and chile jalapeño are fully covered with the liquid.
- Place content in an airtight container. Once cool to touch, cover with lid and refrigerate.
Nutrition is just an estimate based on Nutrifox.