I’ve never felt like more of a Portland cliché than when I found myself making my first batch of pickled onions. If you’re unfamiliar with the show, Portlandia, they put together a little skit poking fun at the pickling and canning obsession that had swept through the city. When I pulled up 50+ baby red onions from my garden a few weeks ago, I found myself saying, “I can pickle these!” and then face palmed my forehead, realizing that I have become so very Portland in my three years here. All clichés aside, these tangy little suckers are delicious! We’ve now tried them on burgers, brats, steaks, and salads and it adds a great zesty flavor to the dish. Try out a batch for yourself, and soon you’ll find yourself hooked!
1 medium sized red onion, sliced about ¼ an inch thick (I used small red onions from my garden, halving them and leaving a few whole)
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
¾ cups white wine vinegar
2 small garlic cloves, halved
2 Japanese dried chilis, split lengthwise
8-10 black peppercorns
½ tsp dried thyme
Fill a large saucepan 2/3 of the way full with water and bring to a boil. Drop the sliced onions in for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Strain into a colander and set onions aside. In a medium sized jar, combine sugar, salt, and vinegar. Shake or stir to dissolve sugar and salt. Add onions, garlic cloves, chilis, peppercorns, and dried thyme.
Seal and shake to mix. Place in the refrigerator overnight. Onions will keep for about a week and a half.