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Old 03-09-2006, 08:57 PM   #1
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Onion paste

how is onion paste used in japanese cooking? can someone share some recipes to make make a thick gravy?

i saw a video of how to make onion paste and made some; now i don't know what to do with it!

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Old 03-10-2006, 12:01 PM   #2
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What? Onion paste? Please let me know how you did that and I would be curious as well on how it is used.
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Old 03-10-2006, 12:52 PM   #3
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Never heard of Onion paste.

I am assuming it is similar to pureed onions which I do not recommend. I find that when onions are pureed they release a lot of water and it takes a lot more time to burn the water that is released to make a nice thick gravy.

I recommend the following instead - Extra finely chopped onions (yes it takes some effort but is a better option).

Or here is what I do which tends to make a decent gravy (not Japanese style but Indian style). I take a good amount of oil (3 cups) in a wok or similar deep saute pan. I slice onions thinly (about 10 large ones). I then fry them in the oil until they are light brown and crispy.

Be careful when frying them because they go from light brown to burnt in no time. I remove them with a slotted spoon and drain them on paper towels until they are dry and crisp. I then store them in a cool place. Whenever I need to make a gravy I just puree a handful of fried onions with yogurt or any other medium (tomato sauce etc.) and then use that in the gravy.

So I do all the hard work ahead of time and it's so easy to fix my meals.
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Old 03-11-2006, 06:05 PM   #4
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thanks for the tip!

here is the video i was referring to:
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Old 03-11-2006, 07:51 PM   #5
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Yakuta, my husband does all the deep frying, but sometimes I slice onions very thinly as you described, then toss them in seasoned flour before frying them up in a regular skillet. (usually after frying something else.)
They are a light and crispy addition to steak, burgers, fried fish, whatever.
These are a different thing from the regular breaded, deep-fried onions rings.

For gravy, I like caramelized strips of onions. I want them cooked soft, but I like to see the pieces.

Still, an onion paste could be useful. Sure would be good to use in a salad dressing...combined with olive oil, assorted herbs, butter and used over pasta ...as a spread for bread...as a seasoning for vegetables...added to sour cream for dip...there are all sorts of possibilities.
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Old 03-12-2006, 01:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yakuta
Never heard of Onion paste.

I am assuming it is similar to pureed onions which I do not recommend. I find that when onions are pureed they release a lot of water and it takes a lot more time to burn the water that is released to make a nice thick gravy.
Solution: Put the pureed onions in a tea towl, ball it up, and squeeze all the moisture out of them before doing anything with em. It's what I do when I'm making the lamb portion of my gyros
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Old 03-12-2006, 03:04 AM   #7
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I watched the video 5-6 times just to make sure - this is what it appears to be: a cooking technique to shorten the time to caramelize thinly sliced onions.

The trick - salt them while in a bowl and let the salt pull out a lot of the moisture, then discard the moisture before adding the onions to the skillet to caramelize the onions .... cuts the time down from about 40-mins to 15-mins. The problem is - I don't know how long they sat in the bowl being drained and then presumably "squeezed dry". I figured out the salt thing by something in English on the site .... it said, "What's the secret ... salt!"

While it is called a "paste" it is not really a paste as most of us would think of a paste ... not a thick puree, just caramelize thin slices of onions with a low moisture content which retain their texture.

Uses: from what I could see it included sauces, gravies, soup bases and an ingredient to something that looked like a stew. Basicially, if anyone has ever caramelized onions to make "French Onion Soup" - you get the idea of this "paste". It could be used anywhere you wanted caramelized onion flavor. For example: add some boiling water to some "onion paste" and some ramin noodles ... soup.

Thickening a gravy: the onion paste will not do that. Look toward a more traditional method - like a cornstarch slurry.
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Old 03-13-2006, 09:41 AM   #8
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Hi Constance, that flouring and frying sounds yummy. I love crunchy onions. Poppinfresh, I do use the technique you described when I make Indian style kebabs. I puree the onions and then squeeze water out of them using a mesh seive I have but the pungent smell is a bit off a turn off for me. I also don't like to store this in my refrigerator because the smell permeates everything else. Another technique that I have used is to slice the onions and leave it on my deck to air dry overnight (watch the forecast to ensure it won't rain). The onions get pretty dehydrated and I then store that in an airtight container in the refrigerator and it goes pretty quick when I have to cook it and does not smell as much.
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