Frying shallots can be time-consuming and finicky, but there are some steps you can take to improve your odds of success. This recipe, adapted from “The Wok: Recipes and Techniques” by J. Kenji López-Alt (W.W. Norton & Company, 2022), makes sure the shallots are sliced evenly, with a mandoline, for best results. Then, once the shallot rings start to sizzle in earnest, they’re fried gently over medium-high heat. What results is crisp and aromatic, and can be used as a finish for salads, pastas and more. The cup and a half that this recipe makes may seem like a lot, but it’s not. They’ll be sure to go quickly.
- Serves: 1 person
- 1pound shallots, peeled
- 2cups vegetable oil
- Kosher salt
Step 1Using a mandoline, slice the shallots into 1/16-inch-thick rounds. Line a rimmed baking sheet with 6 layers of paper towels. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a large heatproof bowl or medium saucepan.
Step 2Combine shallots and oil in a medium saucepan or wok. Place over medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallots begin to bubble, 2 to 3 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring constantly as the shallots fry to ensure even cooking, until the shallots turn pale golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes longer. (The shallots will continue cooking for a brief period after draining, so do not allow them to get too dark.) Working quickly, pour the contents of the saucepan into the strainer. Save oil for another use, like stir-frying noodles or fried rice, or for using in marinades, or as the base of homemade chili oil.
Step 3Immediately transfer the shallots to the prepared baking sheet, spread them out into an even layer, and season with salt. Allow the shallots to drain, then carefully lift the top layer of paper towels and roll the shallots onto the second layer, blotting gently with the first. Repeat until the shallots are on the last layer of paper towels and mostly grease-free. Allow the shallots and oil to cool to room temperature, then store separately in airtight containers and refrigerate.