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How to Make Perfectly Crispy Fried Shallots—Without Flour

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Confession time: I could eat fried onions—the kind that come in a tin at the grocery store and crown green bean casseroles—by the handful, but I have a hard time making them at home.

They're either burnt to a crisp or helplessly oil-drowned—there seems to be no happy medium.

Leave it to our Test Kitchen Manager Josh Cohen to find a way to make crispy fried shallots that look like they're dredged in a perfectly light flour—even though they aren't.

Here's how:

  1. Slice the shallots so that they're super thin (Josh uses a mandoline to ensure uniform thickness and even cooking).
  2. Place them in a pan of room temperature canola oil (or another neutral oil).
  3. Turn the heat up to high and watch the shallots bubble (first you'll see small bubbles, then more rapid ones will appear): That's the water evaporating off.
  4. Then lower the heat to medium. When the bubbles subside, it signifies that the moisture has cooked off the shallots (and they should look golden brown).
  5. Transfer the shallots to a paper towel-lined surface to cool completely. Your shallots will look like they've been flour-dredged and fried, but you'll know how much easier it really was.

Use to top soups, lentil stews, chili, baked potatoes... Or snack on them just as they are.

Tags: Fry, Tips & Techniques