crispy fried shallots

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Let's talk shallots!  I cook a lot of vietnamese and thai food.  One of my favorite garnishes is crispy fried shallots.  It goes on everything from noodle soups to stir fry to salads. There are a couple store bought options, but I'm thinking of making my own.  AFAIK here is what is available

1)  already fried, in a greasy jar from chinatown  (worst).  Most preservatives, smelly old oils

2)  sliced and dehydrated bulk bag (better)- I like this option, but it has a lot of preservative chemicals i probably wouldn't use if I made my own like sodium sulfite.  Also I can't find any up in Boston.  If they are already dehydrated you can flash fry very easily.  Actually you can pan fry in very little oil and they still come out brown and crispy.  They are shelf stable too

3) Make my own (maybe the best?) - This is where I need help.  I think there are two paths

a.  Double fry.  Once at 275, then again at 350.  Pros: I can do it on the fly.  Cons: It doesn't last very long and I have to do it every time I want some

b.  Slice and dehydrate some shallots.  Just like #2 above but better quality organic shallots, and fewer if any preservatives of my choice. Do I need a dehydrator?  Can I do this in the oven on low heat?  Salt to draw out moisture?  Tell me the secrets!
 
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I'm listening. I will try the double fry method, but am in uncharted territory and would love a map.
 
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I don't recall ever having them. I probably have, just don't remember.  Hmmm.

mjb.
 
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I was in NYC over the weekend.  I went to Pok Pok and Pig and Khao.  Crispy shallots were on very many dishes.  It adds some textural contrast and the sweetness of shallots.

One of these internet spice shops says 18 lbs of shallots make 1 lb of dehydrated shallots.  That's probably hyperbole...
 
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I get what you're saying @ordo    If I was going that path, I'd probably use corn starch, but it's not what i'm aiming for.  Here's some examples of it as garnish.  As you can see nothing but oil and shallots:




The last picture was this pork belly braise from pok pok.  I guess if you're a restaurant you can just put it on the daily prep list.  I'm just a lazy home cook :D
 
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 I think there are two paths
...

b.  Slice and dehydrate some shallots.  Just like #2 above but better quality organic shallots, and fewer if any preservatives of my choice. Do I need a dehydrator?  Can I do this in the oven on low heat?  Salt to draw out moisture?  Tell me the secrets!
If you have a gas oven with a continuous pilot light, slice the shallots, spread them out in a single layer on a sheet pan and put them in the unlit oven overnight.
 
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I like the pilot light idea, but I'm on an electric stove/oven.  I cook outside year round on a woks, grills, and smokers.  I think I'm going to try doing this on the grill with one piece hardwood lump charcoal.  In addition to dehydrating i think it will take a slight smoke too.  I'll report back with results this weekend
 
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Holds a few hours in a metal six pan with paper towel on the bottom on shelving above the range, we use it on a composed salad and change every few hours, or if its really slow... to order.
 
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cerise

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How long would it hold?  Can it stay crispy in the fridge a few days?  Or is it a daily type of thing?

I would think an airtight container or screw top jar for storage would hold you over for a while. If you're cooking in oil, I would drain and pat dry w paper towels, and let them air dry for about an hour or so before storing.
 
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I may have to try these soon.  When I was deciding on a challenge theme I had 3 top choices, this would have fit in with one I didn't pick. The other runnerup was beef, in case anyone was wondering.

mjb.
 

phatch

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You could also go specifically to a freeze-dried shallot. Should offer better flavor and texture than a heat dried one.

 

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