Make this spiced pickled shallots recipe, then check out our recipes for picckled beetroot and pickled cherries.

If you like a very crunchy shallot, feel free to break these open after 10 days of pickling, but 3-4 weeks pickling will give you a more traditional texture. To sterilise jars, wash in hot soapy water then rinse and dry on a tray in a 160C/fan 140C/gas 3 oven until completely dry.


  • 1kg shallots, choose the smallest ones you can find
  • 100g fine sea salt
  • 400ml malt vinegar
  • 400ml cider vinegar
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp mixed peppercorns
  • 2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 8 thyme sprigs


  • STEP 1

    Peel the shallots. To do this, trim the base and peel from there, taking the first layer away as well. If you have trouble then pour boiling water over them, leave to cool, then drain and peel, trimming the ends. Put the shallots in a bowl, sprinkle with the salt and leave overnight, giving them a stir a couple of times to make sure they’re well coated in the salt.

  • STEP 2

    The next day, rinse the shallots and leave to dry. Put the vinegars, sugar, mustard seeds, peppercorns and chilli flakes into a pan. Stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil and remove from the heat.

  • STEP 3

    Pack a layer of shallots into sterilised jars (see notes below) with a bay leaf and 2 sprigs of thyme in each, then pour over some of the warm vinegar with the spices. Repeat in layers until the jars are full. Seal and leave for a minimum of 10 days before eating.


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