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52 Weeks of Bad A** Bacteria – Week 34 – Lactofermented Red Onion Recipe

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I am slooooooowly going through my old ferments and getting them updated for the anaerobic fermenting vessels. I will, at some point, get them all updated. It’s just going to take me awhile! :)

I did get my original pickled onion recipe updated and that is what I’m sharing with you this week. This recipe is SO easy! Two ingredients is all you need – onions and brine (I guess brine is technically two ingredients). You can also make these fancier by adding some garlic or fresh herbs. I meant to add garlic and thyme to my batch, but I was crying so hard by the end of slicing all those onions that I completely forgot. My health food store had a great price on red onions recently, so I stocked up. Those are some of the strongest red onions I’ve ever sliced. I made two slices in my first onion and was already crying! Tears and sharp knives are not a good combo!

If you don’t like red onions, feel free to use a different variety. These “pickled” onions are delicious in salads, on sandwiches, with eggs, on pizza, and more. Really, you can use them any way you would regularly use onions. Delish! I made a two liter jar, but you can make more or less, depending on how much you like them. They will last upwards of a year in cold storage, so it’s a great chance to make a big batch. They do get better with age. The picture above I took before the fermenting got underway. I thought they were much prettier at the start than they were once they were fermented. :)

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About Jessica Espinoza

Jessica is a real food nut, coconut everything enthusiast, avid reader and researcher, blossoming yogi, and animal lover. She has had a life-long passion for food and being in the kitchen is where she is the happiest. Jessica started Delicious Obsessions in 2010 as a way to help share her love for food and cooking. Since then, it has grown into a trusted online resource with a vibrant community of people learning to live healthy, happy lives through real food and natural living.

Discussion

22 comments

  1. Can I just use this same recipe for the Fido? How many Tbs are 19 grams of salt? Are you using pink himalayan salt? I want to make this and some kraut tomorrow, been putting it off and I love your weekly series.

    reply 

    Lori U
    Posted 11/26/12

    • Lori – You could do the same in a Fido jar, but I don’t like fermenting in the fidos, because there is no way for the gasses to escape and the CO2 buildup damages the LABs.

      In regards to the salt, you can use whatever sea salt you have on hand. Mine is a super fine grind pink Himalayan salt – it’s almost like a powder. I don’t know a precise measurement for it, because I just always use my scale. Next time I make some, I will try to make a note of the tbsp. measurement, though it won’t be that accurate for people because their salts are all going to be different. Hence why it is best to weigh it. Does that help at all? :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 11/26/12

  2. Is it normal for the red onions to lose their color and turn greyish after a month or two in fidge?

    reply 

    Lola
    Posted 01/07/13

    • Ho Lola – Yes, I am noticing mine are really starting to fade out — this last batch was the longest I’ve let stay in the fridge. Normally I eat them quickly, but for some reason, I haven’t been in the mood for onions. Weird. The brine is now more of a grayish purple color. They still taste good though! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 01/07/13

  3. I have a question. If you can use these like regular onions, will it kill the good bacteria if they are heated. I am trying to get fermented foods into my hubby, but if heating kills good bacteria this won’t work less they are served raw. Going to start a batch now. Thanks for your blog!! Making these onions and fermented garlic today!

    reply 

    Rebecca Marlowe
    Posted 02/05/13

    • Hi Rebecca – If you want to preserve the probiotic benefit, then yes, you would want to avoid heat. I like to put them on sandwiches, wraps, salads, etc. The uses are many! Enjoy! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 02/06/13

  4. am I missing something? where does the culture come from? Did you miss a step where whey from yogurt making is added?

    reply 

    John
    Posted 07/16/13

    • Hi John – No, you didn’t miss anything. Starter cultures are not needed for most fermentation. The good bacteria is prevalent in the foods we ferment and the environment in the jar is all you need to get them going. There may be a few ferments that do require a starter culture, but the vast majority of veggie ferments do not. You can read more about why I stopped using whey and starter cultures in my ferments here: http://www.deliciousobsessions.com/2012/02/by-the-whey-side-why-ive-stopped-using-whey-in-my-vegetable-ferments/

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 07/16/13

      • thanks so much for the reply, and for your site! It’s so very informative and gives me lots of ideas to think about.

        reply 

        John
        Posted 07/16/13

        • My pleasure! Thanks for the kind words! :)

          reply 

          Jessica
          Posted 07/16/13

  5. Could you skip the brine and ferment the onions in the same method used for sauerkraut? IE. add the salt directly to the onions and crush the juices out of them until the onions are covered by their own juices?

    reply 

    Paul C
    Posted 10/18/13

    • Hi Paul – Most likely you wouldn’t get enough liquid from the onions. You are certainly welcome to experiment though! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 10/20/13

  6. Hey, just wondering if normal white onions would work and still taste good? I have a lot right now but wanted to ask first. Thanks so much for your help!

    reply 

    Sheri
    Posted 02/27/14

    • Yes! Those would work just fine. I’ve made them both and they are equally delicious! Enjoy! :)

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 02/27/14

      • Thanks so much for your help! I am a little concerned though because there aren’t bubbles forming at the top of of the brine like my previous ferments. Is this normal for the onions? Maybe I put too much salt in it?
        Thank you!!!

        reply 

        Sheri
        Posted 03/02/14

        • Hi Sheri – When you tap on the side of the jar, do any bubble come up from the bottom? If not, it is probably done fermenting. Once it is completely, the active bubbling stops and you can move it to cold storage.

          reply 

          Jessica Espinoza
          Posted 03/07/14

  7. This may be a silly question but what is the weight? And you can store this in cold storage with an airtight seal is that correct? I have only made pickles but we ate them in the same week so I was wondering how to do it for long term storage ie 1 year

    reply 

    Heather r
    Posted 07/18/14

    • Hi Heather – I don’t have a weight for the onions. Next time I make these, I’ll make sure to weigh them first. Yes, you store this in the fridge in the same jar you ferment them in. In cold storage, they will last at least 6 months.

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 07/20/14

  8. Hi Jessica,

    I ferment a lot of veggies on a regular basis but I had never thought of fermenting onions and I must say this is an absolute delicacy ! (I add cumin or caraway seeds)
    I love onions but they may be difficult to digest. This way I can enjoy lots of them without trouble, thanks for the idea and for all there is on your website !!

    reply 

    Carole from France
    Posted 08/18/14

  9. I love this idea! I don’t have the anaerobic jar or a weight to use though. Is there any way to do this in a mason jar with maybe a towel over the top?

    reply 

    Jamie
    Posted 10/18/14

    • Hi Jamie – Yes, you could do it in a Mason jar. I have not tried it that way, but it should work fine. I would use a lid rather than a towel. The goal of proper fermentation is to keep the oxygen out of the ferment. Using a towel would allow oxygen in. Hope it works out! :)

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 10/19/14

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