Hibiscus Pickled Onions

Hibiscus Pickled Onions

By Laura Coffee, Marketing & Owner Services Manager, Co-op Owner

This post is part of a partnership with our local library system. Visit www.crdl.org for more information.

This month’s featured herb is hibiscus. Used all over the world to add flavor and color to a variety of dishes, hibiscus is often thought of as a bright, fruity addition to teas, sweets, and desserts. Here we’re going to explore the savory side of the herb with some quick and flavorful pickled onions!


Pack the onions into the jar.
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Hibiscus
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cane sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt


Slice the onion thinly (mine were approximately 1/8″ thick) and place the slices in a mason jar or other heat-safe container. Pack them down gently.

Combine the water, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, hibiscus petals, cane sugar, and salt in a small sauce pan. The liquid will begin to turn a bright red/pink almost immediately. Bring the ingredients to a low simmer, stirring gently to dissolve the sugar and salt.

When the liquid just begins to simmer remove it from the heat and pour it slowly over the onions. Push the onions down below the surface of the liquid with a fork or large spoon. Let the jar sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. At this point the onions will be ready to serve. They can be enjoyed immediately, or the leftovers can be refrigerated in a closed container for 2-3 weeks.

Serving Suggestions

These pickled onions are excellent on top of tacos, roasted vegetables, meat dishes, eggs, chopped in salads, or in noodle bowls. They can provide a tangy and slightly crunchy contrast in most savory dishes.

Bonus: Hibiscus Lemonade

  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2-1 cup sugar (to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp hibiscus

Steep 2 Tbsp of hibiscus in 5 cups of water until desired strength is achieved. (2-4 hours in the fridge is usually sufficient.) Strain out the petals or remove the tea ball. Combine the sugar and 1 cup of water in a small sauce pan over medium heat and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and add one cup of lemon juice. Add sugar and lemon mixture to hibiscus tea. Serve chilled.


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