Quick Pickled Onions, 3 Ways

October 25, 2016
Quick pickled onions recipe

Quick pickled onions in 3 variations: plain, with ginger, and with ginger and spices.

It  feels like I wrote my last blog post ages ago. Well, I had some very busy and not so busy weeks recently. First, the reason why I was pretty busy was because I prepared my first ever cooking class. I taught a class about Austrian cuisine at the Cambridge Center for Adult education here in Cambridge, MA … which was awesome. Honestly. Usually, I hide behind my laptop writing articles for a newspaper or for the blog, but getting in touch with people was really nice for a change. And, I think my students enjoyed what they saw and tasted ;-)

Quick pickled onions, three ways

Half a red onion and sice it into half-rings (see pic) or lengthwise.

Quick Pickled Onions Recipe

Quick pickled onions, plain version. Put onions in a jar and pour over vinegar-mixture.

Secondly, the reason I was not busy at all, was some vacation time in Mexico. David and I have traveled 40+ countries so far but Mexico has been on our bucket list since forever. For some reason, we never happened to make it there. And even though we went there during rain season, the weather was nice for most of the time. We even had some relaxing days at the beach after visiting the largest and second largest city (Mexico city and Guadalajara).

Quick pickled onions with ginger

Quick pickled onions, with ginger-slices (method 2).

So  I figured, these quick pickled onions, which often top tacos and other dishes in Mexico, would be a great idea for the first blog post after some time off. I always have a jar of pickled onions in the fridge. Well, not only one, really. I eat them with everything: cheese, antipasti, pasta-topping, Mexican food, of course, stuffing into wraps or on a simple hummus or cheese bread.


Quick Pickled Onions, 3 Ways

Yield: 250 ml / 8.5 oz jar (each variation)

Quick Pickled Onions, 3 Ways

The pickled onions will keep well for several weeks stored in the fridge. With time, the bright pink color will fade, which doesn't mean that the onions went bad. The ginger added to the onions not only releases a great flavor, which the onions will absorb but the ginger itself tastes great as well.


    Pickled onions, PLAIN
  • 1 medium red onion (about 110 g/4 oz sliced)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • Pickled onions with GINGER
  • 1 medium red onion (about 110 g/4 oz sliced)
  • 1.5-inch (4 cm) piece fresh ginger (1 to 1.5 inch in diameter, 20 g/ 0.7 oz)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • Pickled onions with GINGER AND SPICES
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
  • 1 medium red onion (about 110 g/4 oz sliced)
  • 4 slices ginger, cut into thin sticks
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, gently crushed (see info below)
  • 1/4 teaspoon brown mustard seeds, gently crushed


  1. In a small saucepan, heat vinegar, water, sugar and salt over medium heat just until the sugar and salt have dissolved. No need to boil. Remove saucepan from heat and let the vinegar cool a little.
  2. Peel and half onion lengthwise. Slice the onion into thin stripes lengthwise or into half-rings.
  3. Place the sliced onions in a clean jar (separate the layers). I used a 250 ml Mason jar.
  4. Pour the warm vinegar over the onions until the jar is full, then tighten the lid. Let the pickled onions cool and store in the fridge later.
  5. You can enjoy the pickles after a couple of hours but in my opinion, they taste best after a night in the fridge.

  7. Follow the instructions above (step 1+2). Slice the ginger in thin rounds and mix them well with the onions before you pour over the vinegar.
  9. Follow the instructions above (step 1+2). Combine the ginger sticks, sliced onions, and seeds well before you pour over the vinegar.
    >> To bring out most of the coriander and mustard flavor without overwhelming everything, I gently crush them with the back of a spoon. But don?t crush them too much, a slight cracking noise is enough, because they can quickly overpower everything else taste-wise. And: Crush mustard and coriander seeds separately because they are different in size and firmness.


Did you follow this recipe? You could share your result here. All you need to do is take a picture with your smartphone and send it to [email protected]
Quick Pickled Onions, 3 Ways was last modified: November 23rd, 2016 by Ursula

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