How to Make an Onion Pique

Learn how to make an Onion Piqué, a French flavor booster used by chefs in sauces, soups, and stews. Fortunately, it sounds fancier than it actually is, and only takes a second to make.

Use an onion pique when you cook beans, lentils, quinoa, or even rice. It adds so much flavor with so little work! Also delicious in chicken noodle soup, with cabbage rolls, or anytime you poach a chicken.

Half of an onion with a bay leaf attached to it with whole cloves.
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An Oignon Piqué, as it is known in French, is what classically trained chefs rely on when making their mother sauces, the five most fundamental sauces in French Cuisine.

But it's actually a really easy way to add flavor to any soup, sauce, or grain without the hassle of having to fish out individual cloves or bay leaves at the end.

Once you learn how to do it, chances are you’ll never have to look up this recipe ever again. That’s totally fine! Now go forth and flavor your food, just like a French chef.

How to pronounce Onion Piqué:

Just say: Onion pee-KAY

What is an Onion Pique?

An onion pique, sometimes called an onion piquet, is a whole or half onion studded with cloves and bay leaf.

If you leave out the bay leaf, you have an onion clouté (spiked onion).

Learn how to make an Onion Piqué, a French flavor booster used by chefs in sauces, soups, and stews. Fortunately, it sounds fancier than it actually is, and only takes a second to make.

How to make an Onion Piqué:

    1. Begin by peeling a yellow or white raw onion. Then, cut the onion in half and trim off the root end.
    2. Attach 1 or 2 dried bay leaves to the cut-side of the onion using a couple of whole dried cloves as pins.
    3. Then tuck the onion into your pot of stock or milk to cook.
    4. When the onion is soft and you’re ready to move to the next step in the recipe, you can take it out and discard it, cloves, bay leaf and all.

Learn how to make an Onion Piqué, a French flavor booster used by chefs in sauces, soups, and stews. Fortunately, it sounds fancier than it actually is, and only takes a second to make.

How many cloves for an onion pique?

Cloves have a strong flavor, so use them judiciously.

Use 2 to 3 cloves for a half onion, or up to 6 for a whole onion, unless the recipe calls for a specific amount.

Why use an Onion Piqué?

Not only does a studded onion add tremendous depth of flavor to whatever you’re cooking, it can be taken out without leaving any solids behind. When the texture of a sauce needs to be smooth, an onion studded with cloves and a bay leaf is absolutely the way to go.

Recipes for an Onion Pique:

How to Make and Onion Pique

Learn how to make an Onion Piqué, a French flavor booster used by chefs in sauces, soups, and stews. Fortunately, it sounds fancier than it actually is, and only takes a second to make.
Course Pantry, Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword onions
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 2 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 26kcal
  • 1/2 onion peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 cloves whole
  • Trim off the root end of half a peeled onion.
  • Attach a bay leaf to the cut-side of the onion using 2 or 3 whole dried cloves as pins.
  • Add to a pot of stock or milk to cook. Remove and discard when the stock is finished.

Nutrition

Calories: 26kcal

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