• 1 Medium onion
  • 1 Ground star anise
  • 1 Tablespoon of butter

How to Caramelize Onions

  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 3 min

Caramelized onions are an important part of a cooking repertoire because of the deep rich and sweet flavor profile as well as their versatility. They can be used as a flavor enhancer in numerous dishes and sauces or as a processed sugar was of sweetening things or as a fantastic garnish. This is the best recipe for caramelized onions I have found (and I have tried several). It actually comes from a couple different food obsessions of mine:

  1. Heston Blumenthal
  2. Components

This method of caramelizing onions with star anise is based on Heston Blumenthal’s method show on his cooking show, and subsequent book, “In Search of Perfection”. I highly recommend checking it out as it’s probably my favorite cooking show ever. The reason for caramelizing the onions with star anise is because the mixture produces sulphur compounds that bring out the “umami” notes of a dish. Now unlike most of Heston’s other experiments, he produces no lab data for his statement but the caramelized onions taste delicious so I use them regardless. Now onto the cookery!

How to Caramelize Onions

Foodie Fork

  • Caramelizing Onions - Melting ButterMelt the butter in a pan.
  • Caramelizing Onions - Onion SauteAdd onions and anise and sauté until slightly transparent
  • Caramelizing  Onions - Cover and Watch Lower heat and cover.
  • Caramelizing Onions - Stir and CheckCheck and stir periodically de-glazing with water as needed.

*Note – I use water to prevent extra flavors being added to the component, but if you want to add some flavor you can use white wine etc.

Caramelized Onions - Finished Product

When they are done they should look like this. Notice the deep rich brown color and semi transparent state. This is what you want them to look like when done.You can add them as a component to dishes to both sweeten and bring out the umami flavor or use as a garnish (they are DELICIOUS on burgers).


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Carmalized Onions SKU UPC Model

Great for sweet and savory

Dec 26, 2012 by Jennifer

Tried this out as a way to add some sweetness to a horseradish sauce for a holiday prime rib. Long story short, IT WAS DELICIOUS! It added a great sweet element to the horseradish and sour cream sauce and was well worth the time. This is my new go to way of caramelizing onions.


5.0 5.0 1 1 Tried this out as a way to add some sweetness to a horseradish sauce for a holiday prime rib. Long story short, IT WAS DELICIOUS! It added a great sweet element to the horseradish Carmalized Onions