Cooking Tip | How to Mellow the Taste of Raw Onions

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Here’s a tip from Rick Bayless, the US chef, to mellow the flavour of raw onions so they don’t overpower a salsa or salad. + A curated video that shows why onions make you cry and what to do to avoid it.

When using raw onions in a recipe, chef Rick Bayless, the author of one of our favourite books ‘Mexican Everyday’, recommends placing the chopped onions in a sieve and running boiling water over them – this takes the flame or heat out of the onions and mellows the flavour.

Why do onions make you cry and is there anything you can do to help? Watch our video below to find out.

You need to cook onions for at least ten minutes to soften them before you use them in a dish. If you don’t cook the onions properly first, they won’t finish cooking in the dish and you’ll end up with onions that have a bit to them whereas they should melt.

– If you only need a small amount of onion for a recipe (you may be cooking for one or two people or just need enough to flavour an omelette) , buy shallots instead of larger onions. They are easy to peel, easy to chop finely and you don’t end up with that perennial half an onion leaving its odour in the fridge.
– To store an onion in the fridge, wrap it in a double layer of foil or cling film. You can also blanch finely chopped onion (just pop it into boiling water for a minute and strain it), leave to cool and freeze in ice cube trays or portion-sized freezer bags.

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