The Best Ingredient Swap For Shallots, According To Julia Child

Shallots are a special variety of the onion family. One that can be used in place of your standard storage onions, but not vice versa. Shallots have an onion flavor to them, however, they're unique because they lack that recognizable and albeit aggressive pungency you typically get from red, yellow, and white onions. While they're still known to cause some tears, shallots deliver a delicate and sweet flavor that makes them simultaneously versatile and irreplaceable, or so you thought.

Beloved celebrity chef Julia Child spent her career sharing cooking advice with the masses and her teachings, sense of humor, and award-winning smile live on to this day. Since her passing in 2004, Child's legacy is carried on in kitchens across America through her cooking tips that continue to touch our lives — one being her hack for swapping shallots with the whites of green onion. Finely minced green onion whites provide a subtly sharp onion flavor that will work perfectly in a pinch.

Green onions versus shallots

Unlike the green part of a scallion, which has a mild flavor and is generally used as a garnish, the whites are known to be far sharper tasting, with a much more distinguishable onion flavor. While both are edible, the white part of a green onion is usually reserved for applications when the scallion is going to be cooked. That's because the heat from cooking helps to break down the pungency and fibrousness — making it a perfect shallot substitute for your white wine vinaigrette.

So, next time you're preparing a shallot mignonette only to find yourself mid-oyster shuck without the aforementioned shallot, stay calm. That baggie of unused green onion you may have otherwise forgotten about has a purpose, and it's there to save the day. Simply take the bunch and mince them up as you normally would and get to pickling. Raw or chopped and fried with butter or olive oil and garlic, they can be used at a 1:1 ratio to shallots in your vinaigrettes, soups, sauces, casseroles, and quiches. Thank you, once again, Julia Child.