Pickled Onions

Classic. Has to be made every October to be ready for Christmas!

Ingredients [based on 750g of onions]

  • Pickling onions
  • a brine – 900ml/1½ pints water in which you have dissolved 3 tablespoons salt
  • 900ml/1½ pints vinegar (Sarson’s Pickling Vinegar is my choice)
  • 1 quantity pickling spice
  • optional – 1-2 tbps sugar (brown or white)



  • Peel the onions.
    • If you have a large quantity of small onions to peel, cheat. Pop half the onions into a large bowl and cover with boiling water; drain after 20-30 seconds. They should be very quick and easy to peel. Repeat.
  • Pop the peeled onions into a large bowl and cover with the brine; put a plate on top to make sure that the onions remain completely covered. Leave for 24-48 hours.
  • Prepare the vinegar – add the pickling spices (and sugar, is using), bring to the boil and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Warning – this process stinks!
  • Drain and rinse the onions thoroughly and pat dry. Pack into heated, sterilised jars.
  • Pour in the hot spiced vinegar to cover the onions, and seal/cap the jars.
    • For crisp and crunchy pickled onions, allow the vinegar to cool completely before adding to the onions.
  • Store in a cool dark place for at least a month before opening.

PS – I like the look of these Iranian recipes!


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