Onion Milk Should Be Included In Your Next Steak Marinade

While there's long been a feud between dairy producers and makers of plant-based milk substitutes such as soy, almond, and coconut, the FDA finally ruled in February of 2023 that the latter don't need any disclaimers as to their impostor status but can instead just go ahead and call themselves milk. With this being the case, the door is open to making milk out of vegetables, as well. While you may not be adding onion milk to your coffee anytime soon, we do strongly suggest using it to marinate your meat.

In one TikTok video, a creator shows off his recipe for carne asada which all starts off with homemade onion milk. He tosses a peeled onion in the blender (he keeps it whole, though chopping would probably work better for weaker blender motors) and blends it into a liquid along with an entire head of peeled garlic and the juice of a lime. The resulting "milk" is mixed with beer, orange juice, spices, and cilantro and used to marinate the sliced beef. With or without the add-ins, though, that liquid onion seems like it would make a delightfully fragrant addition to any steak marinade.

There's more than one way to milk an onion

While the onion "milk" in the TikTok recipe is entirely milk-free and thus suitable for the lactose intolerant, you can also make a steak marinade using onion-spiked dairy milk. Perhaps the simplest way to make it is by mixing a few cups of milk with a packet of onion soup mix, although you could also use dried or powdered onion to flavor the milk. The flavor will be less intensely oniony than the onion milk seen on TikTok, but using milk as a marinade has benefits of its own.


Onion Milk! The BEST Carne Asada Marinade #fyp #grill #outdoors #10MillionAdoptions

♬ original sound – Jenny Martinez

If you marinate your meat in pure onion juice, the enzymes in the onions (enzymes are what make you cry when chopping this cantankerous vegetable) may either toughen it up or, conversely, turn it into a mushy, mealy mess. If you let the steak (or any other meat) sit in a milk-based marinade, though, the lactic acid is so gentle that the steak will attain the perfect amount of tenderness without losing its meaty texture. If you really want to soften up your steak and add a little extra zestiness, you could even make a marinade out of onion-flavored buttermilk. Not only is buttermilk slightly more acidic than regular milk (although not excessively so), but it may also lend a little ranch dressing-like tang.