This classic British snack is an old family favourite. An easy recipe to make and you can change the spices added to suit you taste.






Skill level

Average: 3.1 (77 votes)


  • 500 g pearl onions
  • 400 ml white wine vinegar
  • 20 g sea salt
  • 100 g brown sugar
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 2 dried chillies

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Makes 1 jar

Steeping time 2 weeks

Place the onions in a saucepan and pour over boiling water, strain and cool slightly then remove their skins. Bring a pot of water to the boil, add onions and blanch for 2 minutes. Remove and leave to drain.

Place the vinegar, salt, sugar, peppercorns, cloves and chillies in a pot and bring to the boil.

Place the onions in a sterilised jar and fill up with the hot vinegar mixture so that all the onions are covered. Seal and leave to steep in a dark cool place for two weeks before consumption.