Pickled Onions

This recipe has no sugar at all, so the onions will be sharp and strong.

2 hours
Prep Time
Pickled Onions


  • 1.5kg pickling onions
  • ½ cup salt
  • water to cover
  • 3 dried chillies, approximately
  • 6 peppercorns, approximately
  • Malt or white vinegar


  1. Peel the onions by putting them into a large bowl and covering with boiling water. Leave for just 20 seconds, then drain and cover with cold water. Peel away the skins.
  2. Put the onions in a non-metallic bowl and sprinkle with the salt, then add cold water to cover and let stand for 24 hours.
  3. Drain the onions and rinse them in cold water then pack them into sterilised jars. Add 1 chilli and 2 peppercorns to each jar, then pour in enough vinegar to cover the onions.
  4. Seal with non-metallic lids and keep for 4–6 weeks before using.


Sweet Pickled Onions

These are crisp and sharp and just slightly sweet. Try them in a corned beef sandwich or with cheese. Add 1 cup sugar for each 3 cups vinegar. Heat the sugar and the vinegar and stir to dissolve, then pour over the onions. Makes 2 litres.

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