How to Properly Caramelize Onions


Hello loyal readers. It is time for yet another of my (soon to be) famous random informational posts! Last time we learned the basics of how to shoot a bow and arrow. Today we will be discussing something even cooler.

How to properly caramelize onions.

Now, just for the record, I can’t stand onions. They are slimy, smelly, weird tasting, and just generally unpleasant to find in your food. This is why I love to properly caramelize the daylights out of my onions. The more I do, the smaller and less visible they get. They also taste…not bad (really amazing) when caramelized properly.

Okay” you might be thinking. “Why is this worth my time? I just dice them up and put them in hot oil, right? Isn’t that okay?”

Well, when I went to my one and only Indian cooking class last summer, and the woman saw me tearfully dicing up the onions (I have absolutely no onion tolerance, it’s horrible) she kind of gave this restrained pterodactyl screech, then proceeded to tell me that I had pretty much almost ruined the entire meal with my heathen onions. What she showed me next changed my life.

  1. Do not dice the onions. Cut them in large, paper thin strips, like this, but even thinner:
onion slices.jpg

2. Heat up the oil before you put the onions in. That way the onions don’t absorb the oil and get soggy and gross.

3. Now, here is the most challenging part. Put the heat on medium-low. Put the onion strips in. Then be patient.

You see, in order for the onions to properly caramelize, it must be cooked slowly, ideally over a period of 15 to 20 minutes. Although I won’t lie, I usually get impatient and turn the heat up a little. Don’t do that. It’s worth it to wait. Just make sure to give them a little stir every now and then.

If you sliced beautiful, paper thin onions, and slowly caramelized them over low heat, you should eventually get something like this:


I know, right? With these babies, you could make a killer curry, or marinara sauce, or a creamy mushroom potato soup, flavored by caramelized onions, with croutons and a light sprinkling of middle eastern yoghurt over the top. Or something.


So what are you waiting for? Go and cook! And have an excellent Sunday.

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