How to Make Microwave-Fried Shallots, Garlic, and Leeks

By Cook's Illustrated Published November 2017

Our foolproof method for making crispy fried shallots, garlic, and leeks.

We love the bursts of crunch and savory flavor that crispy fried shallots, garlic, and leeks bring when sprinkled over soups, salads, stir-fries, and burgers. But they’re easy to overcook. Microwaving them is more foolproof and doesn’t require constant stirring.

For Shallots: Place 3 shallots, peeled and sliced thin, in medium bowl with 1/2 cup vegetable oil and microwave at 100 percent power for 5 minutes. Stir and microwave at 100 percent power for 2 more minutes. Repeat stirring and microwaving in 2-minute increments until shallots begin to brown (4 to 6 minutes total), then repeat stirring and microwaving in 30-second increments until shallots are deep golden (30 seconds to 2 minutes total). Using slotted spoon, transfer shallots to paper towel–lined plate; season with salt. Let drain and turn crisp, about 5 minutes, before serving.

For Garlic: In place of shallots, use 1/2 cup garlic cloves, sliced or minced. After frying, dust garlic with 1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar (to offset any bitterness) before seasoning with salt.

For Leeks: In place of shallots, use 1 leek, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced into very thin 2-inch-long strips, washed thoroughly, dried, and tossed with 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (which accelerates browning).