Raw onions give burgers, salads, and sandwiches an appetizing texture and delightful bite. However, some varieties can taste overly harsh and aggressive. If you're looking for a way to tame the strong flavor and sharp smell of your onions, slice them and rinse under cold water for a quicker way to temper that bitter bite.
The pungency of onions can be attributed to the amino acid sulfoxides that they contain. While it's true that you can draw out these sulfuric compounds and subdue the flavor of raw onions by soaking them in ice-cold water (along with a dash of baking soda if desired), this process can take up to 15 minutes. If you're rustling up a quick sandwich and haven't got the time to wait for your onions to mellow out in a bowl of chilled water, you can slice them, place them in a colander, and run cold water over them to curb their bitterness in mere seconds.
This method is ideal if you only need a few crescents of red onion for your hoagie because you can simply slice as much as you need, rinse them off, and get to assembling your sub at speed. Your sweeter-tasting onions will also be perfect to toss through salads and scatter over meaty gyros as their subdued flavor won't compete with the core ingredients in your meal. Instead, these tempered onions will beautifully complement your dish, giving it a rounder, fresher finish and a robust mouth-feel.
Use Cold Water To Keep Your Raw Onions Crisp
Once you've peeled and chopped your onions, whether they be thickly sliced, sliced into crescent-shaped slithers, or ringed, you must always rinse them in super-cold water so they can retain their crispness. It's this crunchiness that lends raw onions their characteristically yummy texture when incorporated into fresh green salads or rolled into burritos and wraps. And if you're wondering if hot water also has its uses with onions, the answer is yes! Cutting onions near a kettle will moisturize the air and protect your eyes from the dreaded tears.
To make mellower onions with an appetizing snap, however, place them in a colander and rinse them under a running tap of cold water for a couple of minutes, turning them over with your hands to expose their surface area and mitigate some of their harsh flavor. Then you can pat them dry and use them in your favorite recipes, from tacos and dressings to pico de gallo and fattoush.
This über-quick rinsing technique works with virtually any variety of onions, from large Spanish onions and sharp white onions to sweeter-tasting shallots and red onions. Any leftovers are perfect for making pickled onions with the simple addition of a sweet and salty brine. Better yet, dredge them in a crispy coating to make beer-battered onion rings. The truth is, once you've mastered how to tame the bitterness of raw onions, you'll be using them in a myriad of recipes.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.