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Sumac Onions

Sumac OnionsBright and tangy, our marinated sumac onions or sumac onion salad (sogan salatasi) is a perfect condiment to pair with grilled meats, kabobs, salads, and vegetable side dishes. 

A bowl of sumac onions.

WHAT ARE SUMAC ONIONS?

The quick Turkish onion salad consists of thinly sliced onions massaged with and marinated or pickled in sumac, olive oil, lemon juice (sometimes red wine vinegar), and mixed with fresh parsley.

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

  • Onion: I prefer the sharpness of red onion, but you can also use brown, white, or yellow onion.
  • Lemon Juice: Fresh lemon juice from one lemon is all you need for a nice pop of acidity. Other recipes rely on red wine vinegar or pomegranate molasses instead of lemon to provide tartness.
  • Parsley: Fresh parsley adds color to the salad and compliments the flavor of the other ingredients.
  • Spices: Season the onions with sumac and salt. Sumac is a popular Middle Eastern spice found online and in health stores. However, I recommend visiting a local Middle Eastern store to explore; the ground-up sumac berries give the dish its signature color and flavor. 
  • Olive Oil: Be generous with the olive oil; since it is a prominent ingredient, I recommend using high-quality olive oil if you can.

HOW TO MAKE SUMAC ONIONS 

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Add the ingredients to a serving bowl and massage to combine for about 2-3 minutes.

The ingredients for sumac onions in a small bowl.

Taste and season with sumac. Then, cover and set it aside for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Olive oil, lemon juice, sumac, and parsley massaged into the onions.

PREPARATION TIPS

  • If the flavor of red onions is too sharp, soak them in hot water for 10 minutes, drain, pat them dry, and use them as is.
  •  If you prefer more heat, I recommend adding a touch of ground Aleppo pepper or paprika.

SEARCHING FOR MORE LIKE THIS? 

If you love this recipe, try one of our other salad favorites!  

A bowl of sumac onions.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS 

Sumac marinated onions often accompany chicken and red meat dishes but also act as a garnish for sandwiches, salads, and soup; brighten any meal with this healthy side dish.

WHAT TO DO WITH THE LEFTOVERS 

  • TO STORE – Store the leftovers in an airtight container; they will keep for 4-5 days. Since onions naturally contain water, I don’t recommend freezing them since they will become soggy once thawed.  

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

What is sumac?

Sumac ‘summāq’ means ‘dark red’ in Arabic, and it refers to a spice commonly used throughout the Middle East to top popular meals like fattoush. It comes from sumac berries, which are dried and ground into a coarse powder for culinary purposes.

What are the onions on a kebab?

Sumac onions are a staple in kebab restaurants. They will serve them on top for meals like tantuni or on the side if ordering something like Adana kebab.

How do you make raw onions less spicy?

Soak the onions in hot water for 10 minutes. Drain the onion, pat them dry, and proceed with making the salad.

What does sumac taste like?

Like lemons, floral sumac is tart and slightly sweet. The spice is a perfect way to provide acidity to any meal.

What are the benefits of sumac?

According to an article written by contributors for Lebanese International University, studies show that sumac contains antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, and the spice is helpful for meat tenderization and preservation.

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A bowl of sumac onions.

Sumac Onions

Tressa Jamil
Marinated sumac onions or sumac onion salad are a tangy addition to grilled meats, kabobs, salads, and vegetable side dishes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Marinating Time 30 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Turkish
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 96 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sumac, ground
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions
 

  • Add the ingredients to a serving bowl and massage to combine for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Taste and season with sumac. Then, cover and set it aside for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Notes

Preparation Tips: 
  • If the flavor of red onions is too sharp, soak them in hot water for 10 minutes, drain, pat them dry, and use them as is.
  •  If you prefer more heat, I recommend adding a touch of ground Aleppo pepper or paprika.
 
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 ServingCalories: 96kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 2gFat: 7gSodium: 309mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3g
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
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