Shallots are a member of the allium family (which includes garlic, onions, and leeks).  They have a similar taste to onions, but are milder in flavor.  Shallots likely originated in Central or Southeast Asia, and from there spread to India and the Mediterranean, and eventually worldwide.  They contain good amounts of iron, potassium, and fiber. 




When properly cured and stored, shallots can keep in a cool, dry area for over six months.


General Tips 

Shallots can be substituted for other alliums, but are especially well suited to dishes where a slightly milder taste is preferred.  For instance, raw shallots are great in salad dressings.  Use in sautés, curries, soups, pizza, and more.


Fried Tofu with Sweet Tamarind Sauce

4 pieces semi-hard white tofu

5 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 tablespoons shallot, chopped

5 tablespoons palm sugar

4 tablespoons light soy sauce

1 cup tamarind juice

4 tablespoons water or vegetable stock

2 tablespoon crisp-fried sliced garlic

4 tablespoons water or vegetable stock

10 fried dried hot chilis

Bring a pot of water to boil over high heat; add in tofu and boil until cooked and floats to the surface.  Remove and cut into cubes.  Fry cooked tofu with small amount of oil over medium heat until golden on all sides.  Remove and set aside.  To prepare sweet tamarind sauce, place a pan with oil over medium heat until hot.  Fry chopped shallot until golden and fragrant.  Add palm sugar, light soy sauce, tamarind juice and water stock.  Stir and cook until the sauce is slightly thickened with a perfect balance of sour, sweet and salty.  Turn off the heat.  Arrange fried tofu in a serving dish, spoon sweet tamarind sauce over and top with crisp-fried garlic, crisp-fried shallot and fried dried hot chilis.  (Original recipe here.)