Probiotic Pickled Onions –

  3-Pickled onions-002 copyPickled onions are one of those foods that was once preserved (or pickled) using the traditional method of lacto-fermentation. The natural lactic acid produced in the fermentation process produces that acidic pickled effect.

Pickled onions are more commonly preserved in vinegar today. Instead of being full of raw enzymatic action as they are when they are truly cultured, the vinegar-preserved onions do not contain live enzymes or probiotics.

So if you’re going to preserve onions give these cultured pickled onions a shot. You can use pearl onions or full-size onions that have been sliced.

Lacto-fermented Pickled onion recipe – 

  • 3 to 4 cups pickling onions (top and tail – blanche and peel)
  • Brine made of 3 cups water and 2 tablespoons sea salt – honey to sweeten if desired.
  • 2 tablespoons brine from previous vegetable ferment or mother (optional)
  • TBS Coriander seeds, whole black peppercorns, 2 TBS Yellow mustard seeds, 4 bay leaves and TS of minced garlic.


  1. Once onions are peeled dust in sea salt and place in the fridge for 4- 5 hours. Then remove, wash and dry.
  2. Pack pickling onions in quart Ball Mason Jars and ad the pre-prepared liquid warm – cap jars – leaving a approx. 5mm head room.
  3. Please make sure you push the onions beneath level of brine (use some scrunched up baking or grease proof paper). Cover tightly and culture at room temperature for 3 to 7 days, burping daily as needed to release gas pressure.
  4. Move to the fridge once the desired fermentation has been reached to slow and stall further fermentation while consumed.

These fermented pickles are the best you can eat for you health and well being – this is basically the way they were produced right up until they were heat sealed in jars under in a vinegar brine.

ENJOY!! Cheers, Steve.

6 thoughts on “

  1. Hello Steve,

    This looks like a great recipe! Thanks very much for sharing it. I am looking forward to making my own lacto-fermented pickled onions tomorrow using this recipe as a guide. Could you please help clarify a few things? What is the reason for dusting salt on the onions if they’re going to be pickled in brine anyway? Would soaking them in a salt solution for a couple of hours do a similar job? Does using ‘brine from previous vegetable ferment or mother’ make a significant difference? Also, does the minced garlic do anything else besides impart flavour to the pickled onions? Many thanks in advance. 🙂

    • Many thanks for you comment and feed back – Dusting the salt on the onions in a dry bucket or bowl draws out the moisture in the onions, so they draw up more vinegar when pickling. Using some of the previous mother certainly helps with the fermentation, adds flavour and gives you consistency of ferment. The minced garlic is not a mandatory just a preferred taste – I think the garlic certainly gives the onions depth when pickled. Also pickled garlic by itself is also delicious! I have some that were put down for pickling 3 years ago and they’re truly amazing!!!
      Cheers, Steve.

  2. Pingback: Probiotic pickled onion recipe - lacto-fermentation - Padaek

    • You are correct vinegar-preserved onions do not contain live enzymes or probiotics – my apologies for the mistake!

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