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Abnormal Onion Flavor

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

I'm new to this site and I've got a question for you guys. Every now and then, in different recipes that call for raw or sauteed onion, I find that the onion goes bad and gives off a kind of rancid flavor. For instance, I made a red cabbage slaw last night with red onion in it. When it was fresh, it tasted delicious. After sitting for some time (on my stovetop, while something was baking), the onion gave off a really gross flavor. I've noticed it in a potato salad recipe that I make, that calls for raw onion. Its delicious when it's fresh but once it sits in the fridge overnight, the onion suddenly tastes awful. This is also the case with sauteed onions. There is one recipe I make with breaded fried eggplant, sauteed onions and green peppers. For some reason, when I add the onions to the eggplant, and heat it up with tomato sauce, suddenly the onion tastes terrible. Ive searched online for some info on this, but found absolutely nothing.  Am I crazy? Thoughts, anyone?

post #2 of 6

Dull knife, or possibly serrated -- which is nearly the same thing.  You're crushing or ripping the onion instead of cutting it, and promoting a lot of sulfur.  

 

Sulfur.  Yum.

 

BDL   

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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Actually I use a proper chef's knife, the onions are all finely and perfectly sliced...

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by HopefulChef29 View Post

Hi all,

 

I'm new to this site and I've got a question for you guys. Every now and then, in different recipes that call for raw or sauteed onion, I find that the onion goes bad and gives off a kind of rancid flavor. For instance, I made a red cabbage slaw last night with red onion in it. When it was fresh, it tasted delicious. After sitting for some time (on my stovetop, while something was baking), the onion gave off a really gross flavor. I've noticed it in a potato salad recipe that I make, that calls for raw onion. Its delicious when it's fresh but once it sits in the fridge overnight, the onion suddenly tastes awful. This is also the case with sauteed onions. There is one recipe I make with breaded fried eggplant, sauteed onions and green peppers. For some reason, when I add the onions to the eggplant, and heat it up with tomato sauce, suddenly the onion tastes terrible. Ive searched online for some info on this, but found absolutely nothing.  Am I crazy? Thoughts, anyone?




 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopefulChef29 View Post

Actually I use a proper chef's knife, the onions are all finely and perfectly sliced...

 

Are you sure it's the onion? All the recipes you listed contain multiple ingredients. You may also have multiple different problems. For example, the place for slaw is the refrigerator, not the stovetop.

 

What are you using for pots and pans? Tinned copper was popular for a while (still?), but when the tin wears off, the copper is exposed and can be easily dissolved and/or corroded.

 

What temperature is your refrigerator? Don't guess - put a thermometer in a glass of water in it and check it the next morning.

 

I'm guessing spoilage or contamination, and not anything exotic with the onions.

 

Terry

post #5 of 6

Hopeful,  You could try blanching the onions very briefly after cutting, say 20-30 seconds then shocking them in an ice bath and draining before using.  It may make a difference maybe not.  Is this happening all year round or is it seasonal? The onions get a stronger flavour at certain times - I know I tear up more in certain seasons with them.

 

Just a thought.

 

But yes, make sure the fridge is cold and that you store them in ceramic or plastic containers which are covered, not metallic, either with a lid or tightly sealed with cling film.  They might be absorbing other adours & tastes from other things in your fridge.  Metal containers can do weird things to some foods especially those with acidity.

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Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
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post #6 of 6

Onions, do and will sour. Its the oil in the onion that causes this. DC Sunshine was correct as far as blanching, but carry it a step further. After onions are diced place in a clean piece of muslin or cheesecloth . Form a tea bag and place under cold running water. Then ring it out. Onions will now stay white and will last in fridge.Store in ss container  or glass.l You will lose a little flavor, but I feel its worth it in some cases' in particular when you must put diced onions out for a smoked salmon display or taco bar. They will retain their eye appeal. As far as red onion , no it will loose its color. In commercial applications, we use large Texas globe onions, about 1/2 lb. each,50 pound bags, peel them, put them in 4 gal. buckets, cover with plastic and store in a real cold frig. We try and use whole bucket within 3 days.. For home peel, just put in plastic bag in fridge.


Edited by chefedb - 9/3/10 at 11:35am

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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