Storing fruits and vegetables is one of the most fundamental parts of home-making. The most important vegetables that are used in just about every dish are shallots, onions, and garlic. No dish is complete without the aroma and unique taste of these wonderful vegetables.
They are the real taste-makers of just about every cuisine and cultural dish in the world. Whether it’s a hot pasta dish, a warm bowl of soup, rice, or even simple curry, it will be incomplete without a touch of either garlic, shallots, or onions. Although there are many dishes that may do without ginger, red spices, and garlic, onions and shallots will always be the most important additions in any food.
Although shallots and onions are not the same, they are often used interchangeably. Not only do they have similar tastes, but they are also perfect replacements for each other. They have the same texture and taste consistency that they bring to your food.
Even when onions are a common choice among home-owners, there are dishes that specifically use only shallots. Various salads like a fresh tomato and avocado salad would taste amazing with crisp shallots in them. You can also caramelize them and use them as taste-enhancers over a burger patty.
Or simply throw a few shallots in hot vegetable soup for that extra flavor. There are many things you can do with shallots. However, the trouble with vegetables like onions, shallots, and garlic is that they’re used frequently and in bulk.
This means that a dozen shallots won’t be enough to fulfill your weekly stock. You will have to get a few more at least to last the month. Any dish would require these vegetables in lots of amount.
Cutting them up every single day and crying your eyes out, especially in the case of onions and shallots, can be a huge inconvenience. However, if you buy a lot, you’ll definitely need space and proper arrangements to accommodate the shallots and onions. For this reason, many people prefer buying them in large bulks and storing them in creative ways.
You can either cut them up or make a pickle out of them. Storing them in baskets or closed containers is an effective way to keep them fresh until you need to use shallots. Let’s have a look at the popular, super-effective ways to store shallots in your home.
1. Hanging Basket
Storing the huge bulks of those tiny shallots in a hanging basket is one of the best ways to keep them fresh and safe. Make sure the hanging basket does not have extremely big holes; otherwise, the shallots will fall down and get in the way. Instead, try to use a basket that is made up of a thick impermeable fabric.
A crochet basket made from ropes is a good choice. Or even a thin basket will do the trick, as long as it holds in all the shallots. Hanging baskets are amazing for small vegetables and keep them safe from slithering animals in your kitchen.
They’re also very convenient because they usually hang at a reachable height. This way, it is easy to get your hands on a fistful of shallots one at a time.
2. String Mesh Bag
A mesh bag is one of the most common choices to store freshly picked shallots and onions. Apart from being the most convenient to hold and handle, they are almost always accessible in every market. You won’t have any trouble finding a mesh bag to store your shallots.
A mesh bag that is made from metal or a thick wire is good enough to keep your shallots together in a bunch. You can hang the bag at the back of your kitchen door or on a hook planted on the wall. The best thing about mesh bags is that they have extremely small holes that make it impossible for any object to slip out.
If you’re used to a weekly grocery shopping routine, then store all the shallots in a mesh bag directly after purchase. This will make it extremely easy to take them home from the grocery store. You will simply have to hang the basket in your kitchen and all the shallots will be within your reach.
3. Plastic Containers
Keeping your vegetables in an airtight plastic container will fully ensure that they stay fresh and crisp. Whether they are shallots, garlic, or onions and whether they are cut up or not, they definitely stay in their best condition when stored in plastic containers.
In fact, you may have seen many Indian women buying multiple combos of plastic containers just so that they can store shallots and onions in them. If you like slicing up your shallots at the time of cooking, then you can store them as it is in the plastic containers.
However, if you want to chuck them in during your cooking, then you can cut chop them up and store them in an airtight plastic container beforehand. Keep the container in the freezer and your shallots will certainly last you longer than a month.
4. Ziploc Bag
If the shallots stored in plastic containers in your fridge are taking up too much place, then another option is Ziploc bags. Plastic containers usually take up significant space, so if you have a small freezer, Ziploc bags can be your best option.
Cut up your shallots and store them in Ziploc bags in your freezer. You can easily slip them out and get a fistful of shallots in one go. The best thing about Ziploc bags is that they’re super-easy to close and open.
Box containers can take time and effort to open, especially if their openers have been frozen.
Arranging your shallots in the Ziploc bags will not only give your kitchen space and fridge a clean look but will also take up very minimal space. The bags are usually zipped perfectly, so there is very little chance of the shallots going stale.
5. Shallot Marmalade
If you’re someone with a savory tooth, you will definitely love making a delicious shallot marmalade. If you have some shallots left that may start rotting in a few days, you can try using them up for this purpose. Shallots are one of the most heavenly foods that this earth has to offer.
Making marmalade out of them is the perfect way to savor their unique taste. You can have this jam mixed in delicious herbs every day for breakfast, or you can spread it on your toast for an evening snack. There are many recipes for jams and marmalade.
However, the typical recipe will include a bunch of herbs, raisins for sweetening, and seasonings. If you want shallot jam that is excessively sweet, pour in some maple syrup. And if you want to keep it savory, add some vinegar.
Whatever you do, shallot marmalade is one of the most delectable snacks you can have. Not only is it extremely healthy but it is also a wonderful way to store all those shallots in your kitchen. The marmalade will last for months, so you won’t have to worry about the shallots going stale.
Shallots are also the best vegetable to mash and make a jam of because they’re extremely easy to peel and have a beautifully delicate taste. If you really want to enjoy their raw goodness, making a marmalade is one of the best ways to store shallots.
6. Bamboo Steamer
Using a bamboo steamer to store your shallots is not only creative but also extremely convenient. You can place the bamboo steamer on your kitchen counter and easily reach in for shallots while you’re cooking.
The biggest benefit of a bamboo steamer is that it keeps the food inside it super-fresh and crisp. If you’re someone who likes to use fresh vegetables in their meals instead of per-cut thawed ones, then storing your shallots in a bamboo steamer is an excellent choice. It will keep your shallots at room temperature, fresh, and tasty to eat.
You can keep the bamboo steamer on your kitchen sill or somewhere high up to keep the shallots safe. You can even store other smaller-sized vegetables if you want them available at room temperature.
7. Brown Paper Bag
You can store your shallots in large brown paper bags. Paper bags are easy to carry and move around. By keeping shallots in different paper bags, they will never lose their fresh color and vitality.
Brown paper bags are made with a special material that keeps any food inside them absolutely pure and refreshing.
This is one reason why most of the meat you buy is always wrapped in a brown paper bag. This is because the meat has a very rare chance of rotting due to its sturdy yet thin covering. If you want to store your shallots in a breathable container, then face-open brown paper bags are a good idea.
8. Jute Bag
Another great option to store your shallots is a jute bag. If you prefer Eco-friendly options to store your groceries, then jute bags are wonderful as they have a very low carbon footprint. You can re-use them for as long as you want because they’re extremely durable and sturdy.
Get yourself a few large jute bags and store the entire bulk of shallots in them. You can keep the jute bags in your kitchen, behind the door, or you can store them high over the cupboards. As long as there are within reach, jute bags are the best environment-friendly option.
Jute bags are biodegradable and extremely strong. You can even store your shallots in the jute bag for months on end. It is a way better option than plastic bags as plastic has a tendency to wear off and react with surrounding materials over time.
Keeping your shallots in plastic bags will cause them to rot quickly.
9. Kitchen Crates
If you want a simpler option as compared to the rest of the bags and containers, you can simply use your kitchen crates as storage place for shallots. They can be planted high up on the walls or can be placed a bit lower near the ground. Drop in all the shallots, onions, and garlic and enjoy using them with ease and accessibility.
10. Dry Braids
Dry braids are a traditional method of storing shallots. It is a very simple way of tying the roots of the shallots into a braid and then storing them in your kitchen or basement. By doing so, you can easily ensure their freshness for a long time.
Braided shallots are not only aesthetically pleasing but by doing this, you can also make sure they get better circulation of air. If you don’t want to use them immediately, then store the braided shallots in a cool and dark place to preserve freshness.
Now that you know the wonderful ways to store shallots, it’s time to buy these amazing vegetables to keep in your kitchen. Use them in salads, curries, and a host of other dishes because they will always stay fresh.