Traditional deep-fried shallots add a crisp, zesty finish to creamy or soft Southeast Asian dishes. But frying lacks appeal in my apartment kitchen, where cooking odors (and seemingly oil globules) linger for days. So I oven-toast shallot slices, which turns them crisp as coconut shreds, eliminates the bite, adds a toasted savor, and intensifies their sweetness. There is no need to confine the browned, squiggly crisps to an Eastern menu: Strew them over bitter greens, legume purees, vegetable-noodle tosses, and rice, bean, or tofu dishes.
Choose the longest, largest shallots for ease of peeling and slicing, and for the most uniform rounds.