Top and tail the shallots/onions – just a good trim as you want them to keep their shape in the jar, and then peel them; a good way to do this is to blanch them in hot water for about a minute to soften the papery skin, and then plunge in to cold water and drain.
Put a layer of shallots/onions on the base of a large bowl and then sprinkle liberally with salt; add another layer of shallots/onions and again, sprinkle liberally with salt. Repeat the process until all the shallots are in the bowl and all have been ‘salted’. Leave overnight, and then rinse well and allow them to dry.
Mix the vinegar, salt, chilli flakes and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil for 30 seconds and take off the heat.
Meanwhile, drop the cloves and ginger sticks in to your sterilised preserving jar, and then add the shallots/onions until the jar is full.
Strain the chilli flakes out through a sieve, and then pour the hot vinegar mix over the onions and seal.
The pickled shallots/onions will be ready to eat in about 2 weeks and should keep for 6-9 months.
All information is provided by Aspall