Hispanic Kitchen

Spice It Up!

Until you have tried Cebollas Encurtidas (pickled onions), there is a good chance that you would pay no attention to them in a Mexican restaurant. However, there are some sandwiches such as the torta ahogada that would not be the same without them. If you are having "Burgers and Dogs" on the grill, try adding some pickled onions to the sandwich for a change of pace. Cebollas Encurtidas also make a nice addition to cold salads, and don't forget to add them to your tacos and veggie wraps. They are very easy to make while adding a nice touch to many different recipes.


1 large purple onion, thinly sliced, it should be about 1/2 pound of slices

10 - 12 black peppercorns

1/4 teaspoon Mexican oregano

3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Mild white Vinegar to cover (about 1 cup)


Mix the onion, oregano, garlic, peppercorns and salt together well.

Place in a 16 ounce jar and cover with the vinegar, making sure that everything is mixed well again after the vinegar has been added.

Place the top on the jar and store in a cool place for at least 2 days. I put mine on a shelf in the back of the refrigerator.

Cebollas Encurtidas like escabeche is always available at mealtime so that everyone can use as much as they like. We add picked onions on all sorts of cold meat sandwiches as well as grilled meats.

Chef's Note: I have seen this made with white onions but personally I prefer the red onion for the flavor.

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Tags: Cebollas Encurtidas, onion, pickled, red onion, torta ahogada


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Comment by Chef William Chaney on August 31, 2014 at 9:05am

They last in the refrigerator for about two weeks. They might last longer but I make small batches and they are always gone within that time. Life in Mexico is a little different than in the states and it seems that friends and family are stopping by to visit almost daily. That means when we prepare food we always have more than we need. The pickled onions as well as the different salsas we make never last long. Two or three days at the most.

Comment by Jennifer McComb​​ on August 30, 2014 at 9:20pm
How long are the onions good for in the refrigerator?
Comment by Jennifer McComb​​ on August 30, 2014 at 9:18pm
Thank you so much for this receipe. I have tried many others and they were not what I had have at a restaurant. I have been trying to create it exactly and I think this is it. As simple as it is it has been driving me crazy.

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