Raw onions bring much-needed pungency to sandwiches and salads, but sometimes they’re a little too good at their job, and their aggressive flavour overwhelms the rest of the meal. Have you ever found yourself taking a bite of an expertly-made meal wishing, “if only the onion flavour was a touch less intense”? Including this powerful ingredient in your dishes can be a game of hit and miss but lucky for you (and us) we have landed on a pretty nifty, and incredibly easy hack that will tame your onion-filled meals every single time.
If you find yourself with a particularly intense onion, all you need to do is reach for the salt.
Salting sliced onion before adding it to a sandwich (or salad) does two things: it seasons and it softens. This seasoning staple draws out moisture, making the onion slices more pliable, while brining them in their own juices for a kinder, gentler — but still oniony — onion.
How do I properly salt my onions?
Just slice your onions as you normally would, sprinkle them with enough salt to barely coat them, and let them hang out for five or 10 minutes until they reach your desired pliability (the longer they sit, the softer they become).
If your onion is just slightly overwhelming, and you still want to keep some of the crunchy texture, salt half of them, then toss both halves together before plating.
You’ll find that by adding this super easy step into your cooking prep will allow you to achieve a perfectly-balanced onion flavour time and time again.
Worried about going overboard with the salt? Don’t worry, we’ve got a hack for that too.
Alternatively, you can soak them:
If you’re not into added salt, the Kitchn suggests soaking raw onions in cold water before adding them to a dish. Apparently, that too will cut the intense flavour down somewhat.
This article has been updated since its original publish date.