Before I move on to more Burmese entrees, salads and desserts, I thought it would be best to go back to the basics. So over the next couple days I’ll be focusing on Burmese pantry staples that pop up in just about every savory Burmese recipe.
Would it have made most sense to start with these from the get-go? Of course. But I tend to get impatient and want to skip right ahead to the more exiting and complicated recipes. It’s a little character flaw of mine. And yes, I’m working on it.
Because I’ve been making Indian Burnt Onions for years, it didn’t occur to me to look at the recipes for Crispy Shallots in the Burmese cookbooks I picked up. Big mistake on my part. Because with this recipe, in addition to crispy, sweet shallots, you’ll end up with plenty of shallot-infused oil for your favorite curries and stir-fries. That’s what I call a win-win.
Feel free to adjust the recipe to make any quantity you’d like- just stick to the 2:1 shallot to oil ratio. I found myself wishing I’d made a double or even a triple batch. They’re like little pieces of umami heaven.
Golden Crispy Shallots and Shallot-Infused Oil
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
* 2 cups thinly sliced shallots
* 1 cup peanut or another neutral oil
Place one slice of shallot and the oil in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. When the shallot rises to the surface and begins to sizzle, carefully add the remaining shallots. Continue to cook, stirring constantly with a long wooden spoon, until the shallots are golden brown. This should take about 10-15 minutes. If you find that the shallots are browning very quickly (within the first 5 minutes), turn down the heat to medium to slow down the process.
Use tongs, a slotted spoon, or a kitchen spider strainer to remove the shallots to a plate lined with paper towels. Let cool slightly. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Strain all but the last bit of oil into a jar (the last bit of oil on the bottom of the saucepan will invariably have some shallots sediment).
Recipe from Burma: Rivers of Flavor by Naomi Duguid