They take next to no time to prepare and in around a month to a month and a half you will have some jars of lovely pickled onions that will keep for ages. I’ve managed to sell quite a few jars on the road so far, albeit mainly to English people living overseas!


If, like me, you could eat pickled onions with every meal of the day – much to the disgust of Lucy - you’ll be really chuffed to know how easy they are to make whilst on the move. For me, they are an essential part of an Englishman’s diet and a Christmas without them would frankly be ruined.


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It is essential to sterilise your jars properly! If you’re just making them for personal use, soaking your jars in boiling water will be fine.
I prefer to use shallots but regular small onions will be okay too. Play around with the spice mix to suit your own palate.


  • 1kg shallots or onions

  • 150g sea salt

For the pickling vinegar

  • 1 tbsp mixed peppercorns

  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds

  • 1 tbsp black or yellow mustard seeds

  • pinch of dried chilli flakes (optional)

  • 900ml vinegar ( I use malt, but white wine is also good )

  • 100g light brown soft sugar

  • Bay leaf



  1. A day in advance, place your shallots in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to cool slightly, and drain and peel the shallots trimming the root ends as you go.

  2. To a large bowl, add salt, 500ml boiling water allowing salt to dissolve along with a litre of cold water and the shallots. Leave to soak overnight. The next day, drain, rinse then drain again and put the shallots in to your sterilised jars.

  3. Place all spices in to a pan and toast over a low flame until they become aromatic. If you’re using dried chillies add them last as they may burn. Add the vinegar, sugar and bay leaf and bring to a simmer.

  4. Once the sugar has dissolved, pour the pickling vinegar over your shallots and seal, placing a layer of cling film under the lid before screwing tight. Leaver for roughly 40 days before eating.

What's your favourite pickling recipe? Comment below: