Man, I love the pickled onions! My friend B. and I share something special in our love of good pickled onions. Probably because most other people will not come near us when we have indulged. The best kinds of pickled onions come from fairs and fetes, or, even better your own kitchen.
The annual Thorndon Fair is held each November right outside our house and a jar of pickled onions is the one thing I try to buy every year. At the same time trying to resist buying the other things that will only leaving you thinking why? Why are there so many stalls selling soap? Why are there so many things into which to dip bread? Why? But it is all good fun and that is what the fair experience is all about.
I have made pickled onions before, but used malt vinegar and it was way too strong. This version using white wine vinegar is much more flavourful, allowing your tastebuds to detect more than the abrasiveness of oxidised ale.
I decided to include some whole chillis from our plant to provide a short cut to the picked chillis we eat whenever we have burritos. I think that it worked rather well.
As with the kimchi, you will need to have a large preserving jar in which to pickle the onions, which needs to be sterilized and then sealed according to your chosen method. Here is an example.
I made pickled onions like this, and B. approved :
Pickling, or small, onions, enough to fill your intended jar, I used a 1.5L preserving jar.
A couple of whole chillis
200g of sugar
600mL white wine vinegar
Trim the tops and roots of the onions, leaving the root intact but hairless.
Pour boiling water over the onions and leave for 30 seconds. Drain, then cover with cold water and peel.
Place in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and leave overnight.
Rinse and dry the onions and place in the sterilized jar with the chillis, a few cloves, some peppercorns and a bit of cinnamon.
Bring the vinegar and sugar to a boil and pour over the onions. Seal.
Leave for a month before eating, and refrigerate after opening.