Spicy pickled onions

Tom Parker-Bowles shares his recipe for pickled onions perfect with chips or a ploughmans lunch
By Tom Parker Bowles
Spicy pickled onions
  • Rating:
  • Serves: makes 4 jars
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes plus overnight salting
  • Effort: easy


  • 1.3 kg small pickling onions
  • 50 g sea salt
  • 4 habenero chillies
  • A few blades mace
  • 400 g sugar
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1.2 litres white wine vinegar


1. Trim onions, then blanch under boiling water with the skins on for 20 seconds. Cover with cold water and peel under water (this stops them oxidising and toughening up). Then place in clean bowl, sprinkling well with salt. Cover and leave overnight.

2. The next day, rinse and dry the onions. Put in sterilised jars with 2 halves of chilli in each jar along with spices. Boil the sugar and vinegar for 1 minutes, then pour over the onions. Seal the jars and let rest for 3 or 4 weeks.

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