Kitchen Wizard Trick: Batch and fridge – Chopped Onions

How many of you noticed you are repeating some of the same cooking steps over and over?

What if you didn’t have to do it everyday and instead you have those ingredients ready to go?

A Kitchen Wizard solves that problem by batching.

Cooking everyday for over 10 years, I can say my No 1 repeated task is chopping onions, No. 2 is sautéing that onion. You’ll see those tasks in most of cookbook recipes. The problem is, the recipes often calls for only ½ cup, especially for a small family portion like ours.  I used to chop a bit for one recipe,  then only 10 minutes later, chopped some more for another dish. The next day, the same thing, and day after day.   This was a waste of time, with lots of crying involved!

How many of you relate with that?

One day, I chopped the whole onion, more than enough for dinner, and kept the rest in a small container. The next few days, when my recipes called for chopped onions, I just took some out from fridge in no time, no tears. (Bonus!) It was very convenient!

Then I got even smarter. When I had to saute some chopped onions, I made extra, and saved the rest. You know what I did with them. This is a life saver at busy times.

Extra time saver: Now when you have extra chopped or sautéed onions, you can choose recipes that call for them, so that they will be used up quickly, and it’ll be easier to decide “What’s for dinner?”  (How many of you relate with that?)

Chopped onion usage: sauteed onion, various vegetable dishes, chili toppings, salad, sandwich filling, smoked salmon condiments, salsa, tartar sauce, mirepoix (chopped onion, carrot, celery mixture), soups, sauces, dressings, etc.

Sauteed (chopped) onion usage: soups, stews, sauces, curry, mirepoix, various vegetable dishes (sautéed, braised), Ratatouille, pasta, quiche, hamburger, meatballs, ravioli, stuffings, etc.

Feel inspired?  Make this list customized by adding specific dishes you like, such as tuna salad sandwich for chopped onion, and Chicken with tomato sauce for sautéed onion. Make it yours, so that you will actually use them.

Next time you need to use some onions, you can make extra, save some, and you even have a list of what you can do with them for days to come.

Have a great weekend!  Weekends are a great time to start experimenting with batching for a busy week ahead.

Please post a comment on what you did with your onions, and how much time (and hassle) you saved!

Good luck and have fun!

Bonus tip!  Onion No-Tear Trick

  • Contact lens users: chop onion when you have contacts on.
  • Non-contact users: try swimming goggles.
  • Keep your onions in fridge, it’ll be much easier on your eyes. (The strong onion flavor may suffer a bit, but hey, do whatever makes your life easier.)
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7 thoughts on “Kitchen Wizard Trick: Batch and fridge – Chopped Onions

  1. Every Sunday I chop an onion and use it during the week, so I can vouch for this tip! Huge time saver!

    Here’s another one – don’t store onion in plastic containers. I used to do this and couldn’t figure out why all my plastic storage containers smelled so bad. It was the onions. And you can’t get the smell out once its there. When I started using pyrex bowls with lids, the problem was solved.

    One more – put the onion in the freezer for 5-10 mins before chopping it. That also helps with the tears!

  2. Pingback: Video — Easy and Fast Tuna and Chickpea Salad Recipe « Secrets of a Kitchen Wizard

    • Thanks for translating, Johannes! I was expecting some comments in Japanese here and there, yet not in Riussian! So it was very useful (I mean helpful). : )

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