Like many Asians, I like to use fried shallots as garnish: in my porridge, my veggies, my fried bee hoon and even on my baked escargots. Who could resist the fragrance of fresh fried shallots??
Like my Mum, I will to fried my own instead of buying ready made ones from supermarket many of which have this "old oil" smell that I can't stand...
The only down side to DIY shallots.....whole house full of fried shallot smell which may take a few days to clear and oily wok, bowls and plates to wash ; (
But if you improvise the process like me...well, lazy people always come up with shortcut ways
; p But hey it really saves a lot of time and most importantly, less washing up...
Here's the step by step way to do it:
Slice the shallots thinly, I usually don't wash the shallots after I peeled them unless they are really dirty but do wipe them before slicing them if u choose to wash them. You can use a mandoline/ slicer if you are lazy like me or slice with a knife..
Use a kitchen towel and lightly give it a squeeze to dry it so that it takes shorter time to brown and will be crisper...Transfer them into a bowl. Next coat time with oil (don't have to add a lot of oil), just enough oil to coat all evenly. You can use a fork to coat it..Pop it into a microwave, High 2 mins...
Cook on a 2 mins per cycle basis so that you can monitor it as it gets burnt easily. After 2 mins, take it out (use a oven mitt as the bowl will be very hot) and stir it evenly... Pop it back for another 2 mins. Once it starts to change colour (like above), switch to 1 min cycle and repeat the same process. Meanwhile line a plate with kitchen towel
Scoop out the shallots once it starts to turn light brown as it will continue to cook on its own... I used a fork and spoon to do this.... Transfer them onto a plate and loosely separate them. The shallots will still be a bit soft at first and will harden rather quickly. All in all, I cooked on 2 cycles of 2mins and 3 cycles of 1 min= 7 mins. But it really depends on the amount and the voltage of your microwave...it takes a bit of practice..
Just have to add them to my Hor Fun (bee hoon) ; )
Oh, don't discard the oil. Save it for stir frying of veggies, drizzle it in your chicken/pork porridge etc etc...It is very fragrant....You can use it in place of your sesame oil.
As for the shallots, I usually tranfer them into a ziplock bag and store it in a airtight container. It can keep up to about 2 weeks....we usually finished it by then ; P