Shallots Cooking and Substitutions
A shallot is in the category of onions and garlic. This plant grows underground. When it is dug up, it that underground part of the plant that you are eating.
The plate that these three shallots are on is a saucer, the kind used for a teacup. So you get a sense of how small they are from that. They are between a garlic and a small onion in size.
When you look at a shallot, it's in a clove formation, like a head of garlic. There's an outer brownish skin on it, and you can pull apart the various cloves. You peel that outer skin off.
Then, inside, they are like little onions. They have layers within them that you could separate if you wished.
Shallots are often used in recipes in the same places that onions would be. They taste similar to an onion, but with a more mild flavor, almost a bit sweeter.
For example, I love chicken satay, and the marinating sauce we use to make chicken satay with is made with shallots rather than onions. It gives the dish a more gentle flavor than an onion would.
Most stores should keep their shallots in the same area that the onions and garlic heads are.
Sometimes it's impossible, despite your best efforts, to find shallots in your local stores. Not all stores carry shallots in them. So here is how you handle shallot substitutions.
Some people substitute a straight onion to shallot substitution and deal with the slightly stronger flavor. Some will also add in a dash of garlic, to account for the slightly more flavorful aspects of the shallot.
Keep in mind that shallots are smaller than onions, so if a recipe calls for one shallot you wouldn't want to toss in an entire large onion to match it. You'd want to use perhaps a third of an onion for a shallot. If you can find a sweeter style of onion, plus a bit of garlic, that would get you the closest match.
Then, of course, you should talk with your store to get them to start carrying shallots for you :)
Shallot nutrition per 1 Tbsp -
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