Crispy, sweet, and savoury with a hint of salt, fried shallots can be sprinkled over many things. This must-have condiment in Vietnamese cuisine is also popular in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines when scattered over fragrant Pelau(s) and Biryani(s).

20151018in good taste logoAs a condiment, they can be used to top burgers, steaks, rice dishes, salads, mashed potatoes, salads, and stir-fried veggies. Some people even garnish their soups with fried shallots.

Shallots are a type of small pink onion and if you find them in the Caribbean, they are imported. However, to make these, I used the heads of our purple shallots/green onions (Bajans call it seasoning). If you can get your hands on some baby red/purple onions or small white/brown onions they would work as good substitutes.


Crispy Fried Shallots Photo by Cynthia Nelson
Crispy Fried Shallots
Photo by Cynthia Nelson


Line a sieve with paper towels and place over a heatproof bowl



  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced shallots (or any of the

recommended substitutes)

  • Table salt


  1. Heat oil in a skillet or shallow frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Add shallots, spread in an even layer and fry for 6 – 8 minutes, turning a few times until the shallots are fragrant and just starting to colour.
  3. Reduce the heat to low, keep tossing/turning shallots and cook for 4 – 6 minutes or until they become brown (not dark brown or black).
  4. Transfer the shallots to the lined-sieve and drain well. Blot excess oil with fresh paper towels and spread shallots in an even layer to cool; lightly sprinkle with salt. The shallots will crisp as they cool. Keep uncovered at room temperature until you are ready to use. Best to use within 24 – 48 hours.


  • Don’t worry if the shallots soften when the heat is reduced to low, they will brown and stiffen as they continue to cook.
  • Save the onion oil to use in your everyday cooking.

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