Spiced pickled shallots

Spiced pickled shallots

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(2 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr Cook: 10 mins plus overnight brining


Makes 4 x 450ml jars
If you like pickled onions you'll love this easy preserved shallots recipe - perfect with cold meats or alongside a ploughman's lunch

Nutrition and extra info

  • Gluten-free
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per tbsp

  • kcal26
  • fat0g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs4g
  • sugars4g
  • fibre2g
  • protein1g
  • salt0.9g
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  • 1kg shallots
  • 140g coarse crystal sea salt

For the pickling vinegar

  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
    Coriander seed

    Coriander seed

    kor-ee-and-er seed

    The small, creamy brown seeds of the coriander plant give dishes a warm, aromatic and slightly…

  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 10 cloves



    A clove is the dry, unopened flower bud of the tropical myrtle tree family used to flavour a…

  • few pieces of mace blades
  • pinch of dried chilli flakes (optional)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 700ml white wine vinegar, plus 3½ tbsp
  • 100g light brown soft sugar


  1. The day before pickling, put the shallots in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to cool, then drain and peel away the skins and trim the root ends.

  2. In a large bowl, mix the coarse crystal sea salt with 300ml boiling water and let it dissolve to make a brining solution. Add 1.2 litres cold water, then the shallots. Cover and leave to soak overnight. The next day, drain, rinse then drain again. Pack the shallots into sterilised jars (see tip below).

  3. To make the pickling vinegar, put the whole spices in a medium saucepan. Toast over a low heat until they begin to smell aromatic. Add the dried chilli flakes last, as these can easily catch.

  4. Add the bay, pour in all of the vinegar and sugar, let it dissolve, and bring to a simmer.

  5. Pour the hot vinegar over the shallots and seal while hot. Ready to eat in 1 month, or longer, if you like.

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Comments, questions and tips

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1st Mar, 2017
It is not possible to dissolve 140g of common salt in 300ml water - the solubility limit at 100°C is only 39g per 100ml. Try using 400ml of boiling water and making a commensurate reduction to 1.1 litres of cold water. This will give the same strength for the brining procedure.
9th Nov, 2016
The salt is going to be dissolved so what possible benefit is there from using coarse crystal salt? I wont be using sea salt coarse or otherwise crystallized. So my real question is how much NaCl (salt) do I need if I can't (and definitely won't even if they're giving it away for free) get coarse crystal sea salt? Yvonne
goodfoodteam's picture
14th Nov, 2016
Hi Yvonne,Thanks for your question. You could subsitute for the same weight of table salt. However, table salt often has anti-caking and other additives which are not present in sea salt.
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