Bawang Merah (Shallots)

Shallots in My Cooking

We use onions all the time in cooking. It is a very important ingredient in a dish and without onion, the food is not tasty. There is a  variety of onion in the market but I  use three types of onion which is the red onion, yellow onion and shallots.

Specifically, I use shallots to make ingredients for sauteing and preparing sambal. Red onion is for sauteing and main slice ingredients in soy sauce dishes and sambal. Yellow onion is for garnishing especially for laksa.

In my cooking, I use both shallots and garlic often as elementary spices. Shallot also chopped finely then fried until golden brown. This method results in tiny crispy shallots chips namely bawang goreng which can be bought ready-made from groceries and supermarkets.

Finely sliced deep-fried shallots or bawang goreng are used as a condiment in Asian cuisine to be served with porridge or soup. 

Shallots are used intensively in cooking to enhance the flavour of many Southeast Asian dishes, such as a variety of fried rice. 

Origin of shallots

Shallots probably originated in Central or Southwest Asia and travelled to India. From India went further to eastern Meditteranean. 

The name shallot comes from Ashkelon, an ancient Canaanite city, where people in classical Greek times believed the name shallots originated.

As a species of Allium, shallots taste like a common onion with a milder flavour. Fresh shallots can be stored in a cool, dry area (0 to 4°C, 32 to 40°F, 60 to 70% RH) for six months or longer.

Shallots are formed in clusters with a head composed of multiple cloves. The skin colour of shallots can vary from golden brown to grey to rose red and their off-white flesh is usually tinged with green or magenta. 

Studies have shown that onions may help reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular disease and stroke. According to a medical journal,  onions are among the most significant sources of antioxidants in the diet. The high levels of antioxidants give onions their distinctive sweetness and aroma.

I used shallots from India

The leading onion production countries are China, India, United States, Turkey and Pakistan. I  prefer to use onions from India in my cooking because it is tastier. 

Even though onion is a must ingredient in the cooking, slicing onions makes you cry because when you cut into it, the onion produces a sulfur-based gas. The gas reacts in your eyes and forms sulfuric acid.

Nutrition Facts

Shallots are a must ingredient in most of my side dish cooking and as a dip to eat with grill fish. Not only is the dish tasty but also brings some nutrition in it. 


Sources from USDA mentioned one tablespoon chopped shallot which measured approximately 100g contained 72 calories.


Percentage daily value of  100g shallot contains total fat of 0.1 gram which is equivalent to 0%. This total fat in the shallot further breaks down into saturated fat,  polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat which all contain 0.1 gram (0%). This means shallot has minute amount of fat.  

Total Carbohydrates

The total carbohydrate in the shallot contains 17 gram which equivalent to  5% that consists of dietary fibre 3.2 gram and sugar 8 gram. There are also contain protein which is 2.5 gram (5%). 

Vitamin and Minerals 

There is numerous vitamin contain in the shallot such as vitamin A and D which are fat-soluble vitamin. Another complementary vitamin such as vitamin C (13%) and vitamin B-6 (15%).

In addition, it also contains macro mineral such as calcium( 3%), sodium 12 mg (0%) and  potassium 334 mg (9%). And trace minerals which are iron( 6%) and magnesium (5%.) 

This percentage is based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


For no more tears, try moving your face farther away from the onion so the gas disperses before reaching your eyes.

Another suggestion for reducing tears is to first chill the onions for 30 minutes. Then, cut off the tops and peel the outer layers leaving the root end intact. 

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