A lot of Asians like toasted garlic bits for garnish. Not as popular nor as well-known but equally delicious are fried crisp onion slices. You can buy these in jars but there’s no reason why you cannot prepare them at home. It’s easy enough. The really hard part is not getting addicted to them.
Start by slicing the onion. How thinly depends on you. Just remember that the thinner the slices, the faster they will cook and the faster they will burn too. I like my fried shallots to be a bit substantial so I don’t slice them too finely.
Heat enough cooking oil so that it is at least an inch deep. Unlike garlic which can be fried with relatively little oil, onion contains natural sugar that caramelizes during frying. If there is too little oil, the sugar will become sticky and the onion slices will burn and taste bitter. So, I fry my onion slices in plenty of oil.
Ideally, the cooking oil should be hot but not too hot. Medium heat is the best way I can describe it since I rarely use a kitchen thermometer. Just fry the onion slices, stirring gently once in a while, and keeping a very close eyes on them. This isn’t something you can leave to chop or slice something else. Onion slices that thin in all that hot oil browns pretty quickly so don’t take your eyes off them.
When the onion slices look like this, remove the pan from the heat or turn off the heat. The dividing line between browned and burned is like a hair’s breadth at this point so be quick and scoop out the onion slices with a slotted spoon to avoid disaster. Drain them on paper towels and garnish your cooked dish with them.
What are they good with? A little suspense won’t harm. Coming up are two wonderful egg dishes and both are garnished with fried crisp onion slices.