Norse Style Pickled Red Onions

Norse Style Pickled Red OnionsPickling has been a crucial part of the Norse lifestyle for pretty much ‘forever.’ It’s either that or salting, and freezing when the weather is right, but there is no bad weather for pickling. They pickle vegetables, fruits, meats… you name it.

Today we are making a quick pickle of red onions. These sweet and tangy treats are often used as a topping for hot dogs, but can blend great on pizza as well; both pretty much Nordic staples at this point. They are also a very common addition to a Smörgåsbord, open faced sandwiches, or simply a side to go with many types of main dish.

In Sweden the most common vinegar choice is Ättika, which typically has an acidity level of 10-12%, but sometimes as high as 24%. With this vinegar normal ratio for a pickling brine is usually 1:2:3, 1 part vinegar, 2 parts sweetener, 3 parts water. This is in comparison to the typical vinegar you’d find in most US stores, with only 5-8% acidity. Therefor, most of us will need to follow the ratio of 2:2:2, using equal parts of vinegar, sweetener, and water each.

The last option might be to add a few more seasonings. Caraway and dill are very common in Norse cooking.

Lindström Meatball Appetizers

Lindström Meatballs with pickled red onions, dilled cream, and fresh horseradish.

Nordic Pickled Red Onions

By: Semiserious Chefs
Makes: 2 cups


  • 1 red onion; sliced thinly into rings
  • 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 T slightly crushed black peppercorns
  • OPTIONAL: caraway seeds, or fresh dill


  1. Add the vinegar, honey, and water to a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the bay leaf, black peppercorns, and onions and bring to a simmer for 3-5 minutes. You want the onions to become translucent, but still retain a crunch.
  3. Pour into a clean jar, add lid, and cool to room temperature.
  4. Serve as is, or allow to cool in the fridge.

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