a traditional garnish for cochinita pibil, these refreshing, tasty pickled onions liven up salads, tacos, nachos, ceviche and so much more. the marinade mellows the red onions and makes this pickle positively munch-able.
- 1 large red onion, slivered on the x-axis (vertically) into 1/8” (or slightly smaller) slivers
- 2 cups white vinegar (cider vinegar works well, too – but nothing milder)
- ½ cup filtered water
- zest and juice of 1 small tangerine (or orange)
- 7-10 black peppercorns
- 5 bay leaves
- *optional: ½ teaspoon dried mint (or 1 teaspoon fresh mint) or a few sprigs of cilantro
- ½ teaspoon salt
slice red onion on a mandoline set to 1/8” thickness (or a little less). once cut, run the knife through again on the same access if areas need to be made finer, to yield small shreds – not tiny enough to soften completely (the finished pickled onions should retain some crunch), but fine enough to be palatable. set aside.
place vinegar and water in a non-reactive pot. add zest and juice of tangerine (or orange), black peppercorns, bay leaves, mint and salt. bring to a boil, and add the onion slivers. bring back to a boil quickly, and allow to cook exactly one minute. remove from heat to a cooling rack. in the meantime, clean and sanitize a quart-size glass canning jar (a leftover pickle jar will work fine, as long as you get it scrupulously clean – soak in warm, soapy water to remove any labels). rinse in hottest water, let air dry, then place onions and liquid into jar, seal and refrigerate. should keep at least one month in the refrigerator.
use in salads, as a garnish for nachos, chili, ceviche, guacamole, or any kind of Mexican food (especially of the Interior Mexican genre). branch out – try them in antipasti plates, on salads, on top of pizzas, in tacos, with Asian noodle dishes – wherever the flavor of piquant yet citrusy, refreshing and mild onion will be welcomed.