The shallot (Allium cepa) is a member of the onion family. Shallots are best described as a cross between a garlic and an onion. This is a top quality product and it takes 18 pounds of fresh shallots to produce 1 pound of Dried Shallots. For those busy cooks, our Dried Shallots are ideal.
It is believed that Shallots are most likely indigenous to Central or Southeastern Asia. Travelers ultimately introduced shallots into the eastern Mediterranean and India. Our Dried Shallots are from China.
How Shallots are Used in Other Cuisines
In Indian cuisine, the distinction between onions and shallots is blurred at best. Small red onions are often mis-identified as larger varieties of shallots and vice versa. Shallots are commonly used in Indian curries and different types of sambar (a lentil-based dish). In Nepal, shallots are used in momo (a type of dumpling). In Kashmir, shallots are widely used to add unmistakable flavor while also preventing curry from turning black, which is a prevalent problem when onions are used in this dish.
In Iran, shallots are grated and blended into dense yogurt to be served with grilled kebabs. Shallots are also used in a sour Iranian side dish called torshi made with several vegetables and soaked in vinegar.
In Southeastern Asian cuisines of Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, both garlic and shallots are frequently used as base flavorings in a dish. Shallots are also often chopped finely, then fried until golden brown. These tiny crispy shallot chips are popular in southern Chinese cuisine. Shallots intensify the flavor of Southeast Asian fried rice dishes. Shallots are one of the pungent vegetables generally avoided by Buddhist vegetarians.
When and Where to Use
You can easily toss Dried Shallots into most dishes, as they will have enough moisture to reconstitute them. If you wish to add them to a salad or another dry dish you can reconstitute first by covering them completely with water and letting them stand for about 5 minutes and then drain the excess liquid. If you want to use these more like fresh shallots and sauté them in olive oil or butter we recommend that you reconstitute them first. We also like to reconstitute shallots in red or white wine for even more flavor.
In this country, Dried Shallots are becoming more popular in the baking of breads or crumbled and sprinkled almost like bacon bits over burgers, chicken, fish, omelets, pasta, rice, salads, salad dressings, sauces, soups, steaks and vegetable dishes.
Using Dried Shallots vs Fresh Shallots
For substitution or conversion purposes (and because they are so potent) use ½ as much Dried Shallots as fresh shallots. A ½ teaspoon of Dried Shallots equals one shallot clove.
Their flavor isn’t as potent as a white onion and is more like a perfect fusion of mild garlic and sweet onion. The flavor profile provides the tanginess of a sweet onion balanced with subtle yet complex garlic undertones.