July 1, 2009

How to Caramelize Onions

Caramelized onions make a savory addition to many dishes.  Caramelizing is simple and, although a somewhat time-consuming process, well worth the effort.


  • 1 medium onion, cut julienne 
  • 1 tsp olive oil, or more as needed 
  • 1/4 tsp white sugar
  • Dash of salt 
  • Splash of water, chicken or beef broth, or red or white wine (depending on what you are cooking)

Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat.  Add the olive oil.  When the oil begins to shimmer, add the onion.  Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  If the at any time the onions begin to look dry or burn during the cooking process, stir in a little extra oil.  Sprinkle salt and sugar over the onions.  

Reduce heat to medium.  Cook and stir every minute or two for 15 minutes to 20 minutes.  Deglaze with water, broth or wine, scraping up the brown bits.  

Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for a couple days.  


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