We've already shown you how to peel a garlic clove more easily using the microwave, and how to peel an entire garlic bulb using the shake method. Unfortunately, shallots are even more bothersome than garlic to peel, so those two tricks won't work very well on them. The microwave should actually be avoided at all costs with shallots (see my note at the bottom).
But there is a way to skin shallots without any frustration.
- Place your shallots in a heat-proof bowl.
- Boil some water (you can use the microwave, just don't superheat it) and pour it over the shallots until they're fully submerged.
- Let them stand. The Kitchn recommends two to three minutes or until the skins are soft, while others recommend five to ten. However, you'll definitely want to plunge the shallots into cold water once they're done softening so they don't continue to cook.
- Use your hands and your favorite paring knife if necessary to slide those skins easily off the shallots.
- Finally, you can revel in your bowl of shiny, clean shallots!
Check out the video from PamLloyd for the hands-on demonstration.
One word of warning: if you're thinking about microwaving the shallots like garlic to expedite the process, don't. The Chicago Tribune says that the multilayered skin of shallots will stick together if it's nuked and will actually become more difficult to peel.