We tried to grow shallot the first time this year and planted the shallot sets in May. The shallot sets that we ordered came in between medium to very small size sets. To get bigger shallots it is important to plant big size sets to ensure you get good size of shallot harvest. So when you harvest them remember to keep the big ones for next planting and use the rest for your cooking. Other than growing them in the ground soil, we also tried to grow them in container and see whether it grows well or not. We don't find any difference in growing them in container or on the ground soil. It is all much depend on the size of the sets were planted. Big sets bigger bulbs and small sets will resulted on small bulbs. So if you don't have much space, you can try growing them in containers since it takes almost 9 months to harvest them depending on your climate and location. The shallot variety we grow is matador.
Push in the shallot sets roughly this much into the soil and waited for it to sprout.
They sprout easily when the weather has cool down in fall.
Maybe leaving it in the fridge for few days can help it sprout?
After a few weeks later...
For more productivity in the garden since shallot will fill in that precious spot for sometime, don't forget to inter-plant with quick crop. For example we sowed some small globe radish type around the shallot and sowed some carrot seeds near the edge of the container. This vegetables is said to be good companion . Can you see some tiny carrot seedlings and some has not sprouted when the photo were taken.
How deep was our containers for growing shallot?
About 20cm deep.
Dragon carrots growing nicely together with shallot in the same container.
Shallots just starting to produce some bulbs.
Producing more shallot bulbs.
All the photos are from the same container to follow the shallot growing progress.
The right shallot plants are almost ready to be harvested and cured.
I am quite satisfied with my first time growing shallots. If I live in a suitable place to grow them I will certainly make sure I plant them every year. Big shallots harvest were from the right side shallot plants from photo above. There are more than 10 bulbs harvested from that plant. The small shallots were from small shallot sets planted on the ground soil. South-East Asian cooking uses shallots most frequently and that amount will probably only last me for 2~3weeks.
Shallots are commonly thinly sliced and fried crisply for garnishing dishes in Malaysia. You can easily find the ready-made fried shallots sold in shops in Malaysia. Shallot is one of the ingredient commonly use to make sambal belachan or dipping sauces for grilled fish. Shallot has very little calories that make it good for a person in diet by making his or her meal more appetising by using it as marinade. From my childhood memories, we rarely eat outside so it will be a special treat when we did that so satay was usually served accompanied with peanut sauce, rice cakes, cucumber slices and raw shallot slices.
What is your favourite shallot variety?