August 30, 2008

The Maui Onion

I really enjoy cooking with onions and find them highly versatile. Since I try to maximize taste in each dish I create it's important to use ingredients that add high flavor value. Onion is definitely one of those ingredients. In addition to being versatile and flavorful there are many natural benefits and curative properties in the onion. Even the onion juice is used therapeutically. Raw onion is the most beneficial. In Hawaii the Maui onions is variety of sweet onion that lacks sulfur, which causes the strong odor and sharp taste associated with onions. The State of Hawaii has invested a great of money in marketing their famous onion variety, putting it on par with Vidalia onions from Georgia, another sweet onion variety. This distinct onion variety flourishes best in the rich volcanic soil of Haleakela, which dominates the landscape of Maui.

The Maui onion has a rich golden yellow color and they typically grow in a slightly flattened shape. This onion variety is not only mild and sweet but also very juicy due to its high water content. I love caramelizing these onions, with a little bit of Extra Virgini Olive Oil and Sea Salt, making them melt in your mouth. They can also be grilled and fried tempura style.

Caramelized Onions


2 cups thinly sliced Maui onions
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tsp. Sea Salt

Caramelize onions by heating 2 tbls olive oil in sauté pan on high. Stir in onions and coat with oil. Sprinkle evenly with salt. Allow them to start softening on high heat. Stir constantly so they do not brown too much or burn at first. After onions start becoming opaque you can lower heat to medium high. Stir often in the beginning to prevent uneven cooking and burning. Monitor the heat. After the first process of softening you can stir occasionally. Watch and continue to stir and be sure onions are caramelizing evenly. Once they start cooking and you have adjusted the heat they won't burn if you stir them occasionally. However, it's important to make sure they are evenly browning and caramelizing. They should be a deep golden brown and softened. This process can take 25-30 minutes to create the caramelization. You can add these onions to wraps, fritattas or stir-fries. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Richard C. Lambert said...

I really enjoy cooking with onions and find them highly versatilelimo wailea