Tell me one single cuisine in the world today that doesn’t make use of onions in any of its meal? Can’t think of any, right? Well, that’s how important onions are!
Vidalia onion is particularly known for its sweet taste and juicy texture. So, it can be used in a variety of meals ranging from stir-fries to soups, stews, and curries etc. The *mild taste of Vidalia does not mask the flavors of other ingredients in the meal; rather it complements the taste in a perfect manner. That is why Vidalia is widely used in most parts of the world.
However, Vidalia is seasonal, it is available round the year, but you can find the best Vidalia onions during its season, which goes from April to August. So, if you don’t find fresh-looking Vidalia onion in the stores or at home whenever you are cooking something, then white onion, potato onion, shallots, garlic, and even yellow and red onion can be used as the best substitute for Vidalia onion.
Before jumping straight to the alternatives, let’s make some sense about Vidalia onion and how it is used in everyday cooking.
What are Vidalia Onions? – An Overview
These sweet onions were named after a town in Georgia called Vidalia, where these onions were first grown back in 1990. Vidalia onions were produced as a hybrid between yellow onion and sweet onions to get a balanced sweet flavor, the perfect size and shape of the bulb and the yellowish color.
Vidalia onions have a relatively lower amount of sulfur and a high percentage of sugar in them due to the soil they are grown in, so naturally, they give you a milder taste during cooking and do not make you all teary while cutting them.
Ways to Use Vidalia Onions
Vidalia is a sweet yellow onion, there are other varieties of sweet onions as well, and they carry different names.
These onions are not pungent, and they have an appealing yellowish-white color. Among all the sweet onions, Vidalia has higher sugar content, so it is perfect for making caramelized onion for toppings and garnishes.
Then you can always add Vidalia onions to make vegetable or meat stir-fries or to cook stew bases and curries.
How to substitute onions for Vidalia?
To find the best replacement for Vidalia onions, you will have to look for a vegetable that contains most of its features. Since it’s a hybrid, it has the flavor of sweet onions while the texture and color of yellow onions; in the following substitutes, we shall look for similar features and will see how they can be used to substitute Vidalia.
The 7 Best Vidalia Onion Substitutes for Cooking
What can substitute Vidalia onion in a recipe? Well, there are several options to count on! Here are the top 7 picks to replace Vidalia onions:
1. White Onion
If you are looking for the best overall substitute for Vidalia, then white onion is a perfect choice.
White onion is not a hybrid species; rather, it’s a naturally growing dry sweet onion’s cultivar that is known for its mild taste and light color. The white color of this onion is because of the very low sulfur content.
An added advantage of using these onions is that they have a very long shelf life, so you can buy and store them in bulk as well.
How to Substitute Vidalia onion with a white onion?
If you compare white onion with Vidalia, it’s a little bit strong in taste and aroma. It is sweet but not as sweet as Vidalia is. So, while keeping these differences in mind we can substitute Vidalia with white onion while cooking chile, white sauce, salad, pasta and wraps etc. Replace about 1 tablespoon of Vidalia onion with only a teaspoon of white onion to maintain the taste of a recipe.
These are the botanical variety of onions, and before 2010, they were not even classified as onion. But due to their close similarity in taste and texture, shallots are now considered as part of the onion family. However, they are also considered as a close relative of leeks, chives, scallions and garlic vegetables.
Shallots are used more commonly in Asia and the eastern Mediterranean region, where they are grown in the large amount.
Use of Shallots
Shallot’s bulbs are smaller in size, less round and more oblong, and for this reason, they are also known as small onions. They appear reddish-purple in color, which means that they are pungent in taste and flavor. The peeled bulbs of shallots can be soaked in water to release the excess sulfur and its spicy taste.
Do not replace Vidalia onion with an equal amount of shallot; make sure to add only according to your taste and the requirement of flavors in recipes like curries, stews, soups and rice.
3. Potato Onions – Best Substitute for Pickles
Known by many names – potato, Egyptian or underground onion is another great substitute to replace Vidalia onion, especially to make pickles.
Potato onions have a round and irregular shaped bulb with a slightly pungent yet mildly sweet taste.
How to Use Potato Onions?
They are as succulent as the Vidalia; therefore, they can be used in an equal amount to replace the Vidalia onion. You can also use this onion to make fresh salads, dips and sauces.
4. Yellow Onion
It is a parent onion of the Vidalia hybrid, so it can be easily used to replace it. Yellow onion is the cheapest substitute for Vidalia onion in the market.
Its bulbs are round and yellowish in color and contain higher sulfur content than the sweet onions that is why they are stronger and more pungent in taste and aroma.
How to Use?
Due to their strong taste, yellow onions are not suitable for raw servings, but they are suitable to make stocks, broth, soups, sauce and stews.
5. Other Sweet Onions
Besides Vidalia, there are few other varieties of sweet onions that can always be used to replace the Vidalia in recipes. All sweet onions have similar characteristics; they are all sweet, less pungent, and succulent.
Which sweet onion can I use instead of Vidalia onion?
The large and white bulbs of Walla Walla sweet onion, Maui onions and Texas sweet onions make all of them a reasonable substitute for Vidalia onion. You can use an equal amount of any of these sweet onions to substitute Vidalia in the recipes. You can try them to make onion rings, salads, sandwiches, and roasted vegetable meals.
Are Vidalia onions the same as sweet onions? To answer this commonly raised question! Let’s recall the things I discussed in the origin of Vidalia onions! Well, Vidalia is just a type of sweet onions and carry most of the characteristics of this cultivar.
6. Red or Purple Onion
The big round red or purple bulbs of onion you see in the grocery stores are far more pungent and spicier in flavor than the Vidalia and other sweet onions. But the onion is an onion, so you can always use it if there is no sweet onion around.
How to Replace?
To replace the Vidalia onion with red or purple onion, you will need to counter its aroma and taste. For that, it’s best to soak peeled red onion bulbs in a bowl filled with water for 30-60 minutes, then rinse. Now this onion is ready, and you can use it in a 1:1 ratio to replace Vidalia onion.
Garlic is a close relative of the onion family, so in some ways, it offers a taste and texture which can easily replace Vidalia onions in some recipes.
Substituting Vidalia onions with garlic
Garlic bulbs appear altogether different from any onion. Still, garlic flesh can be used as a good replacement for Vidalia onions. It has a strong aroma and taste, so use garlic in a very small amount to make stir-fries, marinades, salad dressing and brine solution etc.
What is the Best Way to Store Vidalia Onions?
All onions have relatively long shelf lives, unlike other fresh vegetables. Still, the onion bulbs need a suitable environment to sustain for a long time.
You can best store the onion bulbs in dark, airy and dry spaces. Keeping onions in a jute sack is preferable if you have them in bulk; otherwise, you can also keep them in a plastic basket. Keep them away from water or humidity. Do not squeeze them into a small space. Use a suitable container to store Vidalia onion.
Another fairly popular method to store these onions is the hanging stocks or racks method. In this method, the onion bulbs are kept at an elevated level; each bulb is tied in a long stocking with one knot between them, then tied onions are simply hanged in an airy space. It is best to prevent spoilage due to humidity. Make sure to store the onions away from potatoes; otherwise, they may get spoiled soon.
Table: Vidalia Onion and Its Substitutes
|Sr. No||Onions||Color||Bulb Shape||Taste||Season|
|1.||Vidalia Onion||Yellow-White||Round, regular and big||Sweet||April-August|
|2.||Sweet Onion||White||Medium, round and irregular||mildly sweet||March-August|
|3.||Red Onion||Red-Purple||Big, round and irregular||Spicy||Mid-April-September|
|4.||Yellow Onion||Yellow||Big, regular and round||Mildly spicy and mildly sweet||Biennials|
|5.||Shallots||Red-Purple||Irregular, small and oval||Strong and pungent||November|
|6.||Potato Onions||Yellow||Small and round||Sweet and garlicky||Summer|