Bawang goreng, or fried shallots, is a super common condiment/topping for many Indonesian dishes. Even half a tablespoon sprinkle on top of rice or noodles will transform it into a gourmet experience.
Soto Betawi, gado-gado, nasi uduk, and many more dishes just won’t taste as great without a liberal sprinkle of fried shallots.
I also use fried shallots in my perkedel. I guarantee that you won’t be able to go back to a plain old perkedel that doesn’t have fried shallots in them.
Why should you make your own fried shallots?
You may have spotted packages of fried shallots in your Asian grocery stores, and you may wonder if it is worth your time to prepare homemade fried shallots.
There are three reasons why I prefer frying shallots at home:
It is almost impossible to get intact fried shallots. Since they travel a long distance from Asia to reach the United States, these fragile fried shallots are usually crushed almost to a powder form.
Homemade fried shallots only need shallots and oil. I’m not sure what is added in the store-bought fried shallots to make them last for years.
Using a microwave, the idea of frying shallot at home is suddenly very appealing. You won’t need to heat a large pot of oil to fry shallots. And the small batch means you can prepare only as much fried shallots as you need, and replenish often, or as needed.
How to fry shallots in a microwave
1. Prepare shallots and oil
Peel and thinly sliced shallots. Place shallots in a microwave-safe bowl and top with enough oil to cover the shallots. For 100 gram shallots, I usually need about 1/2 cup of oil.
2. Fry shallots
Cook/fry in the microwave for 2 minutes, then take it out and stir it, making sure to scoop any shallot strands that stick on the bowl.
Cook/fry again in the microwave for 30 seconds, repeating this step several times, until the shallots are golden brown. I usually need a total of 2 minutes, or four times 30 seconds each.
3. Strain and store oil
Strain to separate fried shallots from the oil.
Store oil in a clean glass jar in the fridge. This infused shallot oil is very fragrant, and you can use it for cooking. My favorite is to use this oil for fried rice.
4. Cool and store fried shallots
Transfer the fried shallots to a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up oil. After 2 minutes, or once you notice the paper towel is wet with oil, transfer one more time to another plate lined with a clean paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and let it cool completely.
Store fried shallots in a clean glass jar at room temperature. It should stay fresh and crispy for up to 1 month.
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