You Can Fry Onions (And Garlic And Shallots) In The Microwave


A fried allium is the perfect finishing touch. Whether on top of a medium-rare steak, a creamy potato soup, or a gooey bowl of macaroni and cheese (or like, a salad or something), fried onions, leeks, garlic and the like provide crispy texture and salty, umami-rich, slightly pungent flavour. In short, they are desirable. They also just got a bit more convenient, thanks to this microwave method from Cook’s Illustrated.

Photo by Claire Lower

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Not only is cooking them in the microwave a lot more hands-off (no-continuous stirring needed), it frees up stove top space and contains oil splatters. The details are slightly different for each allium – click the link below to read up – but the basic method is the same: Add your sliced allium to a half cup of oil in a microwave safe bowl, and cook in two-minute increments on full power until they begin to brown, stirring in between. Once they get a little colour on them, decrease the cooking time to 30 seconds, and continue to cook and stir until they’re a “deep golden”. Transfer your savoury treasures to a paper towel to drain and crisp up, and season with salt.

Though Cook’s Illustrated only mentions leeks, shallots and garlic, I tried this micro-method with a plain ol’ onion and fared quite well. I did however, find they weren’t quite as crisp as I liked at first, but that was easily fixed by popping them back in the microwave on a fresh paper towel for about 10 seconds. This also worked well for re-crisping after they were stored in the fridge, which means you can pre-batch a bunch of fried alliums, then re-crisp them at you leisure, and I love a leisurely onion.

How to Make Microwave-Fried Shallots, Garlic, and Leeks [Cook’s Illustrated]


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