Crispy fried shallots (known as hom jiao lae nam man hom jiao and no, we can’t pronounce it, either) are used as an irresistible accent ingredient in Thai as well as Vietnamese and other southeast Asian dishes. And, as soon as you try them, you’ll be wanting to use them everywhere.–Renee Schettler Rossi
- 4 shallots, thinly sliced lengthwise
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- In a 6- or 8-inch (15- or 20-cm) skillet, combine the shallots and the oil and place over medium heat. Stir the shallots with a spatula to separate them. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the oil becomes hot and starts sizzling, about 5 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally and incorporating the shallots around the outer edge of the pan back into the center as those tend to cook faster. After 5 minutes, the shallots should be the color of honey (if not, turn the heat down to low and continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes longer).
- Place a fine-mesh strainer on top of a heatproof bowl and place the setup close to the stove.
- When the shallots turn the desired color, immediately remove the skillet from the heat and dump the shallots and oil into the strainer. Let both the shallots and the oil cool completely. (It’s okay, you can snitch a few fried shallots, lord knows we understand the temptation.)
- Strain the shallots, reserving the oil. Use the crispy fried shallots immediately or reserve them and the oil in separate airtight containers at room temperature. The fried shallots will keep for up to 3 weeks (hah! good luck making them last longer than 3 hours) and the oil will keep for 2 months (and can be used for drizzling over soups and stir-frying).
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
These crispy fried shallots were fabulous. After the first 5 minutes over medium heat, I found that turning the heat down to medium-low was too low. After the 5 minutes called for, I turned the heat back up to get the shallots the color of honey. I must say that I did not measure the shallots after they came out of the pan because many of them ended up disappearing into a couple of mouths. Not sure how that happened.
I really, really liked these crispy fried shallots. I ended up eating a bunch of them before the curry was ready. They took about 5 minutes to start sizzling, but then I ended up cooking them about another half hour before they became golden brown.