Shallots, if you are wondering what these things are, you might have seen them before and not be able to discern them. Shallots are from the allium family and are closely related to garlic, onions, and chives.
Just like the rest of the food items in this family, they are used to season food. Shallot is often regarded as the building block of any meal.
Shallots are delicate and need to be stored in a cool dry place. Even if you manage to keep them at room temperature and in the best suitable conditions. After a month, the shallots will begin to sprout, which is a sign of old age, or they begin to go bad. You can preserve shallots for longer than a month if you know how to.
Can you freeze shallots? Yes, you can. Shallots can be frozen and preserved all year round. Which is about 11 to 12 months in the freezer. Shallots would keep well in the freezer, not losing taste or flavor for as long as a year. But after thawing them, they lose their crunch and become softer.
Shallots grow all year round. But, their prime time is usually in August, which means that they might be more expensive when they are not abundant. Now that you have the know-how on how to preserve them? You can buy in bulk when you see them on a special sale or save yourself countless trips to the store.
How to Freeze Shallots
Freezing shallots is very easy. The aim here to freeze them in the easiest way possible and to also make sure that usage after freezing is very convenient. So we are going to jump right into it. You’d be done freezing them in no time.
Step 1: Pick The Right Shallots
If you would be buying shallots from the store, especially when they are not readily available you have to be careful when picking them, so you only pick shallots that are still in great condition.
Feel each of the shallots as you pick them if it has any soft spot, don’t add it to your pick. Next check for any cut on the shallot that might make it rot or spoil very quickly. You only want to store shallots that look fresh and are plump without wrinkles. If you notice that some of the shallots are sprouting, don’t add them to your pick. That’s a sign of old age.
Now that you have selected shallots that are in great condition, you can go on with your freezing process.
Step 2: Chop and Dice The Shallots
Shallots differ in sizes and shapes because of the difference in variety. You shouldn’t freeze your shallots whole. They wouldn’t last for long that way in the freezer. To keep them for long in the freezer you need to chop and dice them. For this, you would need a very sharp knife, a chopping board, and of course your storage containers. We would get to that part soon though.
Peel the shallots, and rinse them in water. Then, leave them out to dry. You can use a paper towel to dry them if you can’t wait for them to air dry. For the chopping part, you need your knife to be very sharp so you wouldn’t crush the shallots as you chop them into small pieces.
Chop and dice the shallots into your desired sizes, you can chop them into small and fine sizes so that they can go into any of your desired dishes.
Step 3: Storage
Shallots need to be protected from the cold air in the freezer. So Ziploc freezer bags might be too thin for them. However, you can use heavy-duty freezer bags.
Portion the chopped shallots into the desired measurement that you want, pack them into the bag, and press the bag flat to expel all the air before you seal it.
Here’s a tip for convenience. You can use plastic water bottles to store shallots. When you’re ready to use them, you can just shake them out of the bottle.
Plastic bottles can also guarantee protection from the cold air in the freezer as they are thicker and the narrow bottleneck and cover that can be sealed shut is perfect for airtight conditions.
Step 4: Freezing
Before you place your stored shallots into the freezer to freeze, you have to label them so you wouldn’t mistake them for onions or garlic. That could happen to someone as forgetful as I am.
Label the containers with the measurement and contents also, add the date of the freeze so you would not lose track of how long you have had it stored in the freezer.
How to Thaw Frozen Shallots
If you want to use your frozen shallots in salads you have to defrost them first. Leave your frozen shallots in the refrigerator overnight to thaw them. If you have had them stored in a plastic bottle don’t defrost the whole bottle. Just defrost the amount you would need to use.
You can let shallots sit out of the freezer and let them defrost naturally and return to room temperature.
If you have any ideas of using the microwave to defrost your shallots, it would be faster, but your shallots would become mushy because of the heat in the microwave. If your shallots would be going into cooked dishes or recipes, the texture wouldn’t matter.
How to Recognize Spoiled Shallots
Rot, dark patches, and signs of mold are indications that your shallots have gone bad. In more advanced stages of spoilage, the shallot would be super soft and oozing liquid. It would have an unpleasant smell and would not look good at all. At this point, you should throw them out.