In Mexico’s Yucatan, pickled red onions—cebollas encuridas— are served at almost every meal, appearing as soon as you sit down, along with the salsa. They are a delightful and delicious way to enhance foods, from simply piling them on tortilla chips to using them to enhance a dish. I came to be fairly addicted to them when I toured the Yucatan a few years ago, and I now make them regularly.
You must use sour orange juice. It’s completely different from sweet orange juice—more like lime juice. Straight vinegar would be better than using sweet orange juice, but look for sour orange in the Hispanic- or Mexican-foods aisle of your grocery store, or check at a Hispanic grocery store. It’s worth the effort, because the flavor really is different if you try substitutes for the sour orange.
And just so you know, these are good with more than just Mexican food. Almost anywhere you’d use pickles, relish, or onions can be enhanced with this flavorful condiment. Enjoy.
Yucatecan Pickled Onions
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
boiling water, to cover
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup sour orange juice, or to cover
1/2 tsp dried oregano, preferably Mexican oregano Continue reading