James Holmes of MasterChef Shares His Recipe for ‘Very Easy’ Pickled Onions

James Holmes of MasterChef Shares His Recipe for ‘Very Easy’ Pickled Onions

As you’re likely aware by now, MasterChef Australia has returned for another year, and we’re once again obsessing over the work of these home cooks. As we do every year, we’re running our MasterChef at Home series, which spotlights recipes and cooking hacks from this year’s contestants – particularly those who are eliminated from the series as we travel through.

Contestant James Holmes was the first to leave the MasterChef kitchen after a challenge to create a dream food dish went awry. On departing MasterChef Australia, Holmes shared his recipe for ‘very versatile, quick pickled onions’ with Lifehacker Australia. Here’s how to make it at home.

MasterChef at Home: James’ quick pickled onions recipe

MasterChef Australia recipes: pickled onions

What you’ll need for your quick pickled onions:

  • 2 large red onions
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Optional: Dry herbs or spices of your choice (e.g., Szechuan peppercorns, allspice berries, fennel seeds, native Australian pepperberries, oregano, coriander seeds)

Directions for quick pickled onions:

  1. Peel the red onions, reserving the skins (this is the key hack that will give your pickled onions that extra pop of pink). Thinly slice them (you can use a mandolin if you have one).
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the apple cider vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Add in the reserved onion skins for a vibrant pink colour.
  3. Add spices of your choice to the liquid to match the cuisine or inspiration for your dish. For instance, you could add a teaspoon of Szechuan peppercorns for that numbing warmth, a few allspice berries for warmth, a pinch of fennel seeds or star anise, or some native Australian pepperberries for a unique, fruity flavour with a hint of bitterness.
  4. Bring the pickling mixture to a simmer over medium heat.
  5. Once the mixture comes to a simmer, pour it over the sliced onions in the jar or container
  6. Let the onions and liquid sit while you do the rest of your chosen dish (or as long as possible).
  7. Enjoy your quick pickled onions as a tangy, colourful addition to salads, sandwiches, tacos, or any dish that could use a burst of flavour and vibrant pinky-purple hue. A personal favourite is with a fried egg and any left-over cheese from the fridge for a great breakfast to start your day, or with saganaki cheese (as pictured).

MasterChef Australia airs Sunday – Wednesday at 7:30 pm on Channel 10 and 10 Play

Image Credit: Supplied

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