If you like crunchy, savory garnishes, you need to add Thai-style fried shallots to your repertoire. This is really a twofer recipe: Along with crispy shallots that can be sprinkled over almost anything, you get a side of aromatic fried-shallot oil that you can use for making more recipes, like salad dressings and mayonnaise.
Why It Works
- Slicing shallots to the proper thickness with a mandoline ensures that they cook at an even rate and are able to crisp properly without becoming greasy.
- Removing the shallots from the heat and straining them when they're lightly golden keeps them from turning too dark and bitter due to carryover cooking.
- Gently blotting the shallots on multiple layers of paper towels keeps them from turning soggy and oily.
- Along with crispy fried shallots, this recipe produces an aromatic fried-shallot oil that can be used to make things like vinaigrettes, mayonnaise, or subsequent batches of fried shallots.
- Yield:Makes about 1 1/2 cups (100g) fried shallots and about 1 3/4 cups (415ml) fried-shallot oil
- Active time: 25 minutes
- Total time:25 minutes
- 1 pound (450g) shallots, peeled
- 2 cups (475ml) vegetable oil
- Kosher salt
Using a mandoline, slice shallots into 1/16-inch-thick rounds. Line a rimmed baking sheet with 4 layers of paper towels. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a large heatproof bowl or medium saucepan.
Combine shallots and oil in a medium saucepan or wok. Place over high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until shallots begin to bubble, 2 to 3 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring constantly as the shallots fry to ensure even cooking, until shallots turn pale golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes longer. Working quickly, pour contents of saucepan into strainer set over bowl. (Shallots will continue cooking for a brief period after draining, so do not allow them to get too dark.)
Immediately transfer shallots to prepared baking sheet, spread them out into an even layer, and season with salt. Allow shallots to drain, then carefully lift the top layer of paper towels and roll shallots onto second layer, blotting gently with the first. Repeat until shallots are on the last layer of paper towels and mostly grease-free. Allow shallots and oil to cool to room temperature, then store separately in airtight containers.