Every morning to start my day at work, I like to have a cup of hot green tea. Sometimes I make it in the office kitchenette or grab a cup from a bagel shop close to work. Once you walk into the shop from the cold outdoors especially this time of the year, the first thing that hits you is the warmth and smell of roasted hazelnut coffee. Hmmm I could smell that all day, I tell you . Next you notice people standing in line with their briefcases or purses and work badges in a hurry to grab their order and dash out and off to work.
The staffs at the bagel shop are quite pleasant and have seen my familiar face one too many times. They say hello each time I walk in and they know exactly what I order to go along with my green tea. Once I get to the counter to order I would hear ‘Morning how are you today? would you like the usual skinny zesty egg white turkey bagel with extra pickled onions to go along with your green tea with a slice of lemon’? That gets me smiling each time because the number of people that go through the shop daily is unbelievable especially at the break of dawn, but yet they remember details of my occasional order. I guess it takes skills, a very good memory and a pleasant attitude. Sometimes I would respond ‘Yes, you know exactly what I want thank you’ and other times I would smile and say ‘not this time, I would just like the extra hot green tea with a slice of lemon’.
There is something about pickled onions that cannot be compared to regular cucumber pickles or any other pickled veggies. It is definitely not as strong as raw onions but depending on how it is made, it can have a sweet zesty, fragrant onion flavor. Yes, I said fragrant. Not fragrant in reference to smells or perfume but rather in reference to specific aromas that you can actually taste. Personally, I think Cloves and Star Anise are examples of very fragrant spices. I like to have extra pickled onions on my sandwich or bagel, and even sometimes on the side of white rice.
So rather than head to the bagel shop all the time, I decided to make my own jar of pickled onions that I can add to a quick sandwich before I head out the door. Don’t get me wrong, I like to patronize my favorite bagel shop but sometimes saving the extra change by making your own ‘grab and go’ breakfast is worthwhile. Here is the quick recipe for my pickled onions. Be sure to use a glass jar, not plastic or metal container just because you are going to be using vinegar in the recipe. I found that plastic absorbs the flavors and vinegar, while metal corrodes over time when stored with vinegar.
- 2 large red onions, thinly sliced
- 1 ½ cups of white vinegar
- 4 small whole fresh chili peppers
- 5 Star Anise and about 10 cloves (Alternatively you can just use about 2 teaspoons of black pepper corn)
- 4 tablespoon full of sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Mason glass jar (or any other storage glass jar with a lid)
- Mix vinegar,sugar and salt thoroughly in the glass jar.
- Gently stir-in the cloves,star anise and whole chili peppers.
- Add onions in stacks ,close the jar tightly and gently turn the jar upside down twice to mix the onion and vinegar.
- Store at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours .
- Drain out the vinegar and store the onions in the fridge.
Use as desired on sandwiches, bagels, burgers e.t.c