Chinese-Style Quick Pickled Shallots

5 from 1 vote
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If you have 5 minutes, you can make quick pickled shallots with a sweet, sour, and tangy taste to bring more flavor and spice to your meals. {Gluten-Free, Vegan}

Chinese style pickled shallots

Pickling often takes some time. It requires putting things together and then there’s all that waiting as your chosen veggies pickle away. I’ve done several quick pickle recipes before and if you’ve enjoyed those, you’re going to love these quick pickled shallots. And if you haven’t tried any of those recipes, perhaps you need to try all my quick pickles and see which one you like best!

With my Chinese-style pickled shallots, all you need is 5 minutes to put it all together. That’s it! You can eat them right away or let them stay in your fridge for 2 weeks. These are so lovely to have on hand because they add an instant zing of spice to your meals.

These quick pickled shallots are sweet and sour with a nice refreshing tang and mild tingling sensation, thanks to the Sichuan peppercorns. They work beautifully with the pungent taste of the shallots for a truly dynamic flavor. If you’ve ever had regular pickled shallots, it’s a definite contrast, one that you’re sure to love. 

Shallot pickles

Sichuan peppercorns

If you’re not a big spicy person, don’t worry! The Sichuan peppercorn is rather magical because of its unique aroma and flavor. It’s not hot or overly pungent like other peppers. Calling it “spicy” doesn’t really fit because it’s got more of a lemony hint with just a slight tingle of numbness that doesn’t burn or set your mouth on fire. Because of this flavor, it is sublime for quick pickled shallots.  

Cooking process

Making quick pickled shallots couldn’t be easier.

  1. Slice the shallots
  2. Lightly toast the Sichuan peppercorns to release the fragrance
  3. Add the seasonings and bring to a simmer
  4. Pour over the shallots
  5. Let the shallots cool down completely
  6. That’s it! You can serve it or store it for later
How to make Chinese quick pickled shallots step-by-step

How to use quick pickled shallots

Once you have these quick pickled shallots around, you’ll find so many ways to use them. They are amazing in sandwiches, served as a side with rice or on top of noodles. These also are part of the equation for my Gua Bao recipe. Some of my other dishes that would be even more enjoyable with quick pickled shallots are Banh Mi, Crispy Chicken Leg with Rice, Hot Dry Noodles, and Salt and Pepper Pork Chop

Homemade pickled shallots

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If you have 5 minutes, you can make quick pickled shallots with a sweet, sour, and tangy taste to bring more flavor and spice to your meals. {Gluten-Free, Vegan}

Chinese-Style Quick Pickled Shallots

5 from 1 vote
If you have 5 minutes, you can make quick pickled shallots with a sweet, sour, and tangy taste to bring more flavor and spice to your meals. {Gluten-Free, Vegan}
Author: Maggie Zhu
Course: Condiment, Side
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: home style
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 1 shallot , sliced into 1/4" (1/2 cm) round pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns (or black peppercorns)
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • Place the shallots in a heat proof bowl.
  • Add the peppercorns to a small pot. Toast over medium-low heat until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to the pot. Cook and stir until the sugar and salt are fully dissolved and the liquid is coming to a simmer.
  • Pour the hot pickling liquid over the shallots. Let the shallots cool completely.
  • Serve immediately, or you can store them in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 9kcal, Carbohydrates: 1.8g, Protein: 0.2g, Sodium: 51mg, Potassium: 22mg, Sugar: 0.7g, Calcium: 3mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Don’t forget the last step! Leave a comment below, and tag me @OmnivoresCookbook and #OmnivoresCookbook on Instagram!

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.

More delicious Chinese pickle recipes

Lilja Walter is a part of the Omnivore’s Cookbook team and worked closely with Maggie to develop and test this recipe.

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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Josh says:

    5 stars
    These were *perfect*. Used them with fish tacos. So easy to make and the Sichuan peppercorns bring in such a nuanced flavor!

  2. Proxies For Gsa Ser says:

    Definitely, what a magnificent site and instructive posts, I surely will bookmark your website.Have an awsome day!

  3. Lyn says:

    Simple and good. I make a pickled ginger that gets better with age(stored in the refrigerator) and wonder if a large batch of these would also hold for longer then the 2 weeks noted in the recipe. I would think the heat, vinegar & salt would help stabilize it.

  4. Barb Trewick says:

    Are these shallots or red onions please..looks delicious & so easy..a must try for me!

    • Maggie Zhu says:

      They are shallots. I think red onions would work as well, but I do love the taste of the shallots.

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