Pickled Red Onions | Cebollas en Escabeche


Last month, I hosted a cooking demo with close friends and family. One of the three courses on the menu included chicken tinga tostadas. To my pleasant surprise, the pickled onions that I used to garnish the tostadas were the talk of the town. Due to popular demand, I would like to share the recipe for this tangy topping — it adds the perfect kick to anything from tacos and tostadas, to sandwiches and rice! Since pickled onions are a staple in Yucatan’s flavorful kitchens, I consulted my tía Elena (of Yucatecan descent) to perfect my own recipe. ¡Provecho! 


2 ½ cups red wine vinegar (as a substitute, you may use white vinegar or a combination of red + white vinegar)
2-3 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 large red onion sliced thinly


  1. In a mason jar or bowl with a lid, add vinegar, salt, peppercorns, coriander seeds, oregano, and bay leaf. Cover and shake well until salt is dissolved.
  2. Add onion and shake again. Let stand at room temperature for 4 hours before serving.
  3. Store in refrigerator. Onions should last several weeks.

Lola Wiarco Dweck

Lola is a Mexican-American recipe developer, writer, and cooking instructor who loves sharing her culture with the world. Growing up in California and spending summers in Mexico, Lola celebrates her family’s Mexican recipes and vibrant culture through Lola’s Cocina.

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    1. Emily: I’m so glad you came across my recipe! These onions are really good — I had some last night on white rice with breaded chicken and they made the dish. How will you be using them this weekend?

      I love escabeche carrots too, but I haven’t tried them with this recipe. I usually make them with jalapeños so they have a bit of kick. You can use my pickled jalapeño recipe and just increase the amount of carrots you use. https://lolascocina.com/2014/09/10/pickled-jalapenos-chiles-en-vinagre/

      1. I was going to use them or the carrots in the cilantro soup with blue posole I posted yesterday but decided not to. We may be doing some fish tacos soon so I want to make the onions for those. And the carrots I want to make for breakfast tacos. One of our favorite taco spots in Austin puts them on some of theirs and it’s awesome. I’ll let you know how they come out!!

  1. I was just about to start looking for a recipe for these to use with a dish I’m making this weekend, so great timing! I’ve also always wanted to make escabeche carrots, are they done using the same process?