Love onions but hate the acrid taste that lingers long after the meal is done? Whether you’re slicing rings for a burger or dicing to top a taco, you don’t have to settle for that biting taste any longer. Here at Milk Street, we salt our onions to remove the acerbic taste and soften the flavor. Salt them generously with kosher salt and massage them with your fingers for a minute. Wait 10 minutes, then serve. The salt softens the onion’s fibrous texture and mellows the sharpness of their flavor.
There are other ways to tame raw onion, of course. You could soak slices in lemon juice for 20 minutes, which lends a slightly pickled flavor, as in this Tomato and Herb Salad with Sumac. Or you could go full on quick-pickle, as in this Herbed Egg Salad with Pickled Red Onion or Japanese-Style Salt-Pickled Radish and Onion (Yasai No Sokuseki-zuke).
We like the salt method when we’re not looking for pickled flavor, and because it couldn’t be easier. Try it in this guacamole from central Mexico (note: this recipe contains no lime juice, and no garlic—Diana Kennedy forbids it!), in this Chickpea and Cucumber Salad (Chana Chaat), or the next time you want the crunch and flavor of a raw onion without the bite.
Watch this video for two smart methods for chopping an onion.
And for a clever way to mellow the harsh bite of garlic, head right this way.