Browning onions is the first step of lots of cooked dishes because browned onions add so much flavor. It takes a little patience to brown onions, but once you master this skill, you will be able to make a lot of tasty recipes. If you’re not making another recipe now, add your practice onions to some eggs or a sandwich.
Sharp knife (adult needed)
- 1 onion
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
Chop the onion: Trim the root end and stem end off the onion, then cut it in half from end to end. Peel off the papery skin. Put the flat side down on the cutting board, and cut the onion into slices one way and then into slices the other way, so that you end up with a grid of little squares.
Put the skillet on the stove and set the heat to medium. Add the oil and then carefully add the onions and salt.
Cook the onions until they are brown, about 30 minutes. The trick is to stir them enough to keep them from sticking and burning, but not so much that they don’t get a chance to brown on the bottom of the pan. If they seem like they are burning, turn the heat down a little; if they are not browning, turn the heat up a little.
When the onions are as brown as you like, proceed with your recipe (or turn off the heat and use the onions another way).
- Hold the knife in the hand you use to write, gripping it firmly around the handle.
- Use your other hand to steady the onion keeping your fingers curled under, away from the knife. Pay attention to where the knife is: as it moves forward, your food-holding fingers should move backward. The distance between the knife and your other hand should always stay the same.
- Keep the pointy end of the knife on the cutting board, and cut by moving the back of the knife up and down, like you’re working a lever.
- Round or cylindrical fruits and vegetables, such as zucchini, carrots, onions, and potatoes, are much easier and safer to cut if you slice them in half first, so that they can rest flat on their cut sides while you slice them, instead of rolling around.
Onions can make your eyes tear up! Try refrigerating the onion before you cut it, to reduce the crying factor.