Quick Overview: How To Cut Shallots
- Prepare your workspace and lay the shallot flat on a stable cutting board.
- Trim the ends and use a sharp Dalstrong knife to cut off both ends.
- Peel off the skin and remove any soft spots.
- Lay the peeled shallot flat and cut crosswise to make thin slices.
- If you want to chop shallots into rings, cut crosswise until you have half the rings.
- If you want dices or minced shallot pieces, make vertical cuts and then horizontal, ones until you have finely diced pieces.
- How To Cut Shallots
- Shallots vs. Onions
- Guide to Cut a Shallot Step-by-Step
- How To Store Cut Shallots
- Nutritional Value of Shallots
- Dalstrong Tools You Will Need
- Frequently Asked Questions
If like me, you too struggle at times with cutting and slicing shallots, onions, and other veggies that belong to the Allium family, this blog will be quite handy! We will be talking about cutting up shallots, the difference between onions and shallots, and the different tips for cutting and slicing shallots. So, let’s dive right into it!
1. How To Cut Shallots
Shallots belong to the Allium family and have quite a sweet flavour, almost milder than onions, which is why chefs often substitute shallots with onions and vice versa, too. The key differences between shallots and onions are their size and taste. Shallots are smaller and easier to cut. While onions are often used as garnish, shallots are too, but in different cuisines.
Yellow or red onions are often served as a side salad with cucumbers and tomatoes in South Asian cuisines for eating raw, whereas shallots are used as garnish over noodles, ramen, soups, and many other Southeast Asian cuisines.
Some chefs describe the taste of shallots between onions and garlic, which is why they chefs often switch them up for onions, thanks to their nuanced taste.
While onions can be caramelized and fries, so can shallots, but they’re often snacked on as they are instead of garnish since their size is ideal for bite-sized snacks. Onions are also not used as often in vinaigrettes and dressings, but shallots are. Cooks and chefs often cut shallots into rings and not into fine dice.
2. Shallots vs. Onions
Folks, yes, there are a couple of differences between shallots and onions. However, shallots do belong to the Allium family. In terms of taste, they’re very similar to sweet onions, though the shallot bulb does look quite similar to green onions. So, while it can be confusing, the distinct appearance of these oval-shaped veggies can help you make the distinction.
Shallots are used in a variety of dishes, whether it’s Chinese food or authentic Italian pasta, there’s a place for these uniquely-shaped veggies.
Read about the three main varieties of shallots, here.
3. How To Cut Shallots Step-by-Step
Cutting and slicing shallots might seem quite fancy and difficult, but it really isn’t. If you can cut onions, you can cut shallots with ease as they’re even smaller in size. Let’s divide this into three easy parts and learn to cut shallots without breaking a sweat.
- Trimming shallots
- Peeling the skin of shallots
- Cutting your shallots
- To begin with, remove the papery skin and get rid of it from the cutting board as it can cause your knife to slip and slide around.
- Lay the shallot flat on your cutting board and separate the raw shallot bulbs since they grow in clusters. Break apart each bulb from the cloves.
- Then, holding the shallot, remove the ends of the raw shallot bulbs using a chefs knife and remove the top end where the green roots grow and leave the root end attached on the other side. Now, we move forward to peeling the skin of shallots.
Peeling the skin of shallots
- Now, peel the outer layer of the shallot, wash it, and pat it down with a paper towel as this part of the vegetable can be a little dirty.
- Check for any mould or blemishes inside and trim it away.
- Remove any soft spots of the shallot that are brownish in colour as those bits of the vegetable can be quite slippery to work with using a sharp knife back and forth. They also release a lot of moisture when being cooked.
Cutting your shallots
Steps to mince shallots
- Lay the shallot flat on your cutting board peel off the skin and remove any soft spots.
- Run your knife back and forth on it so you know that it’s sharp for the task. Ensure that you use a sharp knife to cut shallots as this is a must!
- Leaving the root end attached to one end of the shallot.
- Now, holding the shallot, cut the shallot into half lengthwise.
- Then, make inch-wide vertical cuts up to the root.
- Rotate the raw shallot and cut the shallot lengthwise and then crosswise.
- Rotate the shallot and slice crosswise about ¼ inch width up to the root and you should have dices or minced pieces of shallots.
Steps to Julienne shallots
- Peel off the skin carve out any soft spots of the shallot and prep a sharp knife for the task.
- For shallot slices, start by placing the raw shallot flat on the cutting board.
- Slice the shallot in half lengthwise.
- Slice the shallot lengthwise into vertical cuts of thin slices.
- Repeat these steps with the other half of the shallot.
- You can trim the shallot slices into thinner slices depending on your preference.
Steps for fine diced shallots
- Once you peel off the skin and remove any soft spots, get a sharp knife, preferably a chef's knife.
- Start by placing the shallot bulb on the cutting board.
- Cut the shallot bulb in half, leaving the root of the shallot.
- Place the flat side of the shallot down and slice the shallot in half lengthwise.
- Slice close to the top of the root but don’t cut through it.
- Flip the shallot bulb and slice crosswise until you get dices or minced shallot pieces.
- Continue with a fine dice until you have sliced down to the root. And, voila!
Steps for cutting shallot into rings
- Place the raw shallot on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to make vertical cuts at an inch wide depending on how thin you want the shallot rings to be.
- Next, you want to start slicing on one end of the raw shallot and then start cutting your shallots in a circular motion.
- You now want to make horizontal cuts until you reach the root so you can have smaller shallot rings. And, you’re through.
4. How To Store Cut Shallots
It's essential to preserve raw shallots in an airtight container and in the proper temperature if you want them to last a long time. Shallots like a temperature range of 45 to 55°F (7 to 13°C), which is cool and dry. This means that a refrigerator is the best place to store them.
Not to get too technical, but shallots also like their humidity to be between 60 and 70 percent. So, overly dry environments like the freezer can cause your favourite shallot rings to shrivell. And, while excessive moisture leads to sprouting and rotting, it’s best to place the shallots in an sealed container and pop them in the fridge. Shallots should also not be kept close to high-moisture places like dishwashers or sinks.
5. Nutritional Value Of Shallots
In addition to giving your food flavour, shallots have other nutritional advantages. They are a healthy addition to your meals because they are low in calories and fat. In fact, did you know that the dietary fibre from shallots promotes healthy digestion? Yes! It also keeps the digestive tract in good condition.
Some of the most important nutritional benefits of shallots come from how dense they are in Potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin A. They are among the many vitamins and minerals that are abundant in shallot bulbs. Antioxidants and vitamin C help in supporting the immune system and prevent cell damage. Pretty great what these substitutes for onions can do, right?
They’re also enriched with Vitamin A which plays a important role in supporting growth and development as well as preserving good vision.
6. Dalstrong Tools You Will Need
Let’s discover some of the best Dalstrong tools that you will need as you learn how to cut shallots and as you learn to cook this versatile vegetable!
This chef’s knife from the Phantom series is a personal favourite! Made with Japanese AUS-8 steel, the blade is painstakingly sharp, to say the least, and made with a single piece of ice-tempered steel. The cutting edge of this knife is hand-sharpened to a staggering 13-15 degrees for all the dexterity you need to slice the shallots on your cutting board using the Dalstrong Diamond Detailing method (D3). The D-shaped black Pakkawood handle is a robust but traditional handle.
- Made with high amounts of chromium for a strong and sturdy grip to take on stubborn parts of shallots or any vegetable belonging to the Allium family.
- Hand-polished end cap so you have all the balance you need without slips and slides on the cutting board.
- This knife comes with a premium-made sheath to keep the blade safe from rust and corrosion.
- The knife has a polished and elegant satin finish blade for a sleek appearance.
- Some folks might find an 8-inch knife overkill to mince shallots or cut into dices.
- If you prefer working with utility knives or a paring knife, you might not come to love this chefs knife. Although, one chefs knife can do wonders for your kitchen.
Introducing the Dalstrong Chef's Knife – your kitchen superhero for slicing and dicing shallots effortlessly. Crafted with precision and featuring a razor-sharp edge, this knife ensures smooth shallot prep every time. The ergonomic handle gives a comfortable grip, making kitchen tasks a breeze. Its versatility extends to various cutting needs, from fine mincing to robust chopping. Elevate your cooking game with this must-have tool!
- Designed with a razor-sharp edge for quick, but uniform cutting.
- Provided with an ergonomic handle for a comfortable grip.
- This paring knife is versatile and can handle a range of kitchen tasks.
- The durability of this knife also allows it to take on large, stubborn vegetables and fruits other than raw shallots.
- A downside of this knife could be that it requires regular sharpening to maintain its edge.
- If you’re big on dishwashers, then handwashing this paring knife could seem inconvenient, although that is recommended to maintain it.
Meet the Dalstrong Shogun Series 6" Utility Knife – a kitchen powerhouse designed for precision. The blade has a Tsunami Rose patterning, hand-finished with an 8-12° angle for scalpel-like sharpness. Designed with AUS-10V Japanese super steel, this paring knife is hardened at 62+ Rockwell. The handle is the epitome of durability with a non-slip grip and an engraved end cap for all the elegance you need.
- This utility knife can do everything from peeling the papery skin to removing soft spots and slicing shallots.
- This knife is sharpened exceptionally at an 8-12 degree angle.
- Made with AUS-10V Japanese super steel for a robust blade and sturdy grip.
- The G-10 Garolite handle is everything you need to reap the benefits of its longevity.
- This knife requires careful maintenance to maintain its long-lasting sharpness.
- If you prefer a chefs knife to best showcase your knife skills when it comes to vegetables like shallots, green onions, or red/yellow onions.
Introducing the Frost Fire Santoku, a true triple-threat in the kitchen. This knife is made with 7-layer high-carbon steel and enhanced with cobalt for a robust grip. The sandblast finish not only enhances non-stick properties but also gives a unique "frosted" look. The slender white resin handle offers a tension-free grip that blends style with functionality, making it an elegant and powerful tool to have in the kitchen.
- Make no mistake, this Santoku knife has a razor-sharp edge, sharpened at 16-18° for quick cutting and slicing.
- The stunning honeycomb finish makes this knife a unique culinary tool to display and turn heads.
- The lightweight build of this knife is everything you need for agility and comfort.
- This sharp knife has a full tang for a balanced grip.
- This knife requires careful handling due to its sharpness which can be a smidge overwhelming for the novice.
- The minimalist design of this knife might not be your cup of tea if you prefer a more traditional-looking knife.
Made from 100% sustainably sourced Tropical Teak wood, this cutting board ages beautifully. With a “just-right” size for everyday chopping tasks, whether its green onions or shallots, it's a practical ally for busy kitchens and home cooks. The long juice groove keeps mess away, while the tight wood grain upholds hygiene standards in homes and restaurant kitchens. Easy to use and clean, this board is a sure investment for durability and elegance.
- The lasered measurement lines offer great angles and guidance for cutting vegetables.
- Perfect for use as a charcuterie board for elaborate spreads.
- The stylish Dalstrong lion head pins are an elegant touch to the cutting board.
- This cutting board is made with moisture-resistant and durable Teak wood.
- This cutting board requires maintenance with food-grade oil from time to time which can add a few more minutes to its upkeep.
- If you’re looking for a cutting board that is larger, I suggest going for this Large Teak Wood Cutting Board.
7. Frequently Asked Questions
How do you cut shallots correctly?
Cut off the ends, peel the skin, and slice or dice as needed for your recipe.
How do you cut shallots easily?
Use a sharp knife, score the skin to peel easily, and follow a precise cutting technique.
How do you cut and slice a shallot?
Start by trimming the ends, then peel the skin, and make thin crosswise slices or dice.
How do you cut shallots for cooking?
Begin by preparing the shallot with a proper trim, peel, and cut into slices or dice.