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Scallions: my favorite "new" ingredient

Well, new to me. Until recently, I only ever used them when a recipe called for them. After watching a lot of Jacques Pepin cooking show episodes recently where he uses them or chives in just about everything, I've been improvising and putting them in all sorts of things: pasta sauces, risottos, pilafs, pizza, sauteed vegetables, it's really endless. They bring such a fresh taste to dishes. Does anyone else use them a lot?

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  1. I don't use them much because I don't keep them on hand due to the fact that they wilt so quickly. However, I DO love them in most recipes. I'm not a fan of regular onions really, but I love scallions and shallots. Chives are great too.

    If I see them in the store and I'm cooking anything Asian-influenced or Mexican-influenced, I will pick them up. Love them in pan sauces too.

    I included them in my garden last year, and that increased my usage.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Heatherb

      Wrap them in a damp paper towel and they'll keep for quite a while.

      1. re: Heatherb

        You can also put the root ends (after using the tips) into a little dish of water and they'll regrow. :)

        1. re: alpidarkomama

          I'm going to try tht! I'm always using scallions- chopped salad, omelettes, vinaigrettes, roasted carrot salad, peanut noodles, "Mexican" rice.....

        2. re: Heatherb

          If you like those, look for garlic scapes this spring. It's like a garlic-flavored scallion!

          1. re: nokitchen

            Goodness yes! Garlic scapes are one of my all-time favorite ingredients.

            I've been growing chives for years and, at least here in Seattle, the only time they go dormant is December/January. Otherwise, they grow like weeds (which is why I grow them in pots), divide easily and provide a fantastic, fresh kick to lots of dishes.

            1. re: fracklefoodie

              Mine, too! I have some in the fridge right now - the grocery store's had them the past couple of weeks or so.

          2. re: Heatherb

            i've had good luck storing them in screw top glass jars (even better in jars with the clamp-down tops).

            1. re: Heatherb

              I find they keep for at least 10 days, even when just stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Even when the outer layer becomes slimy, you can remove that layer & rinse the remaining scallion under cold water, and it should be fine to use. Also, shop around for a grocer who sells them at a reasonable price. Although the large chain grocery stores in Chicago charge a $1 to $1.30 for a bunch of green onions, I've found an ethnic grocer that typically sells a bunch for 35-50 cents. I feel much less bad about throwing out 1 or 2 that have rotted when the whole bunch only cost 35 cents.

              1. re: Heatherb

                Stick the little root ends into a flower pot and regrow them.

              2. You know, I might have to get back to these guys. The onions in my area are so, so "bitey" recently...very strong, even the "sweet" varieties.

                Love the tip about regrowing them, too.

                1. I use them all the time because they are very common in Cantonese cooking.

                  1. Yes, all the time. I cook a lot of Asian food and I use them in almost everything.

                    I make scallion oil noodles at least once a week - uses up one bunch of scallions. So good.

                    13 Replies
                    1. re: eateatate

                      Scallion oil noodles? Please share!

                      1. re: ttoommyy

                        Here's the recipe (I got it off SeriousEats, but for some reason I can't seem to find the original article):

                        Thinly chop one bunch of scallions. Heat 1/4 cup of canola / vegetable / any flavorless oil in a pan. Cook 3/4ths of the scallions in the oil on low heat for 10 minutes until scallions are soft and golden brown & the oil is fragrant.

                        Take pan off the heat & add 1 Tbs of soy sauce, 1 tsp of roasted sesame oil, hot chili flakes to taste.

                        Mix the oil in with cooked noodles (I use any long, thin noodles I have on hand). Top with remaining raw scallions, chopped fresh cilantro, and toasted sesame seeds (I sometimes use pine nuts because I love the flavor). Salt to taste.

                        I sometimes cook some bok choy or Chinese broccoli to go along with the noodles and drizzle some soy sauce paste or oyster sauce on top of everything. Makes 2 servings for people with big appetites.

                        Not the healthiest meal, but so delicious and easy. Enjoy!

                          1. re: eateatate

                            oh good god. That sounds awesome.

                            1. re: eateatate

                              Mmmmmmm I have everything I need for this. Sounds great. What is soy sauce paste? You said "drizzle" so it sounds runny. Is it kecap manis?

                              EDIT: Okay, I decided not to be lazy and looked it up:
                              4. Thick Soy Sauce (also called Soy Paste or Soy Jam)
                              Thick soy sauces are sweeter and have a thicker consistency than dark soy sauce, due to the addition of sugar, more wheat in the fermentation process, and sometimes, a starch thickener. It takes only a small amount to add flavor to fried rice dishes.

                              Sounds like kecap manis is sweeter and includes some spices.

                              1. re: juster

                                Sounds about right! Sorry I wasn't able to respond sooner.

                          2. re: eateatate

                            Yes, please do share. I need to know about this!

                            1. re: alliegator


                              I usually do this with an immersion blender. It's so simple, yet so good.

                              This recipe doesn't include the noodles, but I'm confident you all can figure that out.

                              1. re: egit

                                Wow, thank you! So simple, but that's a load of flavor. And I think I'll manage on the noodle thing ;)

                                1. re: alliegator

                                  I've used this sauce as an accompaniment with seared scallops too. To "fancify" it a little bit, I add a little extra oil and even a bit of water, then I really buzz the crap out of it with an immersion blender.

                                  Then push it through a fine mesh strainer. It is BRIGHT green and beautiful. And tasty.

                                  1. re: egit

                                    Oh man, that looks so good! One for this weekend's shopping/cooking list Thank-you :)

                              2. They rock! What took you so long to discover them? I use them in salads and especially in Asian dishes and soups.

                                1. Have you ever had scallion pancakes? If you have a chance, give them a try. Surprising good and easy, given what they are.


                                  I love them in scrambled eggs, too--just a small change with a big difference.

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: chowser

                                    I long for a yummy scallion pancake.

                                    1. re: chowser

                                      I love scallion pancakes but have never made them. The FN recipe is poorly written. I read the reviews and people's suggestions, so I get it now. Something to try in the near future. Thanks.

                                      1. re: ttoommyy

                                        I made the FN recipe for scallion pancakes tonight after reading through the reviews and watching a couple of how-to videos on youtube. They were wonderful. Thanks so much for posting. This will be a recipe I make many more times.

                                        1. re: ttoommyy

                                          Oh, that was a bad "read my my and not my post" moment when I posted that link. I just meant it for an example of what I love w/ scallions, in case someone didn't know what they were. I don't use a recipe for it so can't vouch for the recipe. I'm glad you tried the recipe, though, and reported back. Maybe I'll try it, although I like mine on the salty side so I'd have to add some.

                                          1. re: chowser

                                            The recipe does include salt, plus the dipping sauce was rather salty so it was fine for me. Like I said, I Googled a few other recipes and youtube videos so I really wound up making a recipe that was a hybrid of the one you posted.

                                      2. re: chowser

                                        Love love LOVE scallion pancakes to an absolutely unreasonable degree.

                                      3. Do you prefer the green, white, green/white? Different uses for different parts?

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                          I use the whole thing after I cut off the root end; green and white.

                                            1. re: ttoommyy

                                              OK, great. SO refuses to eat the white part as he thinks that it's not supposed to eaten because it's too pungent. Do you usually saute this part or do you also use it raw?

                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                Both; it's just the right balance.

                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                  Depends on what I'm using it for. I'll use it either raw or cooked.

                                            2. I like a little handful scattered over a cheesy omelet. It's a great was to break up all the richness.

                                              1. All the time, especially when I'm sautéeing vegetables at the start of a dish - pot of beans, for instance, or anything cooked with tomatoes. I just now had a handful in the ham and cheese quesadilla I made for lunch, and I'll chop up and stir the three remaining ones into the pint or so of leftover field peas I'll reheat for supper … unless I decide to stir them into the cheesy polenta instead, a notion that just occurred to me.

                                                They keep pretty well in my fridge if I refrigerate them in a Ziploc in the bottom bin. Once in a while I'll lose some - it's kind of a crowd in there! - and discover them gone slimy a month later, but usually I'll notice the outermost green starting to go dark and think of something to do with them. That's not hard to do; they're good for every meal!

                                                1. salads, almost every day. asian slaws, korean or japanese pancakes, tacos... if you slice them the long way, through the bulb, keeping them intact (while sliced), you can saute (or grill) them until they're browned and serve them alongside carne asada.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                    We always have a bunch in the fridge and, like you, use them for tons of things. I was going to suggest this, too -- don't even have to halve them -- if they're getting wilty (or not) just saute or grill them whole and use them as a (surprising) side for almost anything.

                                                    1. re: juster

                                                      it's true, you don't have to halve them.

                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                        I've grilled scallions and used them to tie bundles of string beans or asparagus

                                                        1. re: cheesecake17

                                                          Grilled scallions are wonderful! Cebollitas al Carbon in Mexico. I hoard the scallions from my CSA until I have a large bunch and then grill them with EVOO and s/p for an appetizer. Everyone loves them. The consistency is so silky.

                                                  2. I love them. I always throw them on top of my favorite Asian seared tuna or swordfish dish. I'm not sure what they add but I throw a large handful on.

                                                    1. I use them all the time in eveything you can use an onion in...try it in potato or chicken salad. My mom eats them chopped up with warm bacon drippings drizzled over the top; she said it keeps colds at bay

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Cherylptw

                                                        I too like to substitute them for yellow or red onions in things like chicken or tuna salad where the onions are left raw, especially when I am preparing the dish in advance, to serve the next day. Unlike raw onions, which get stronger after they've been cut & sit for a while, the green onion flavor does not become more pronounced.

                                                      2. I use tons
                                                        Grilled with Salt and Lime as a side with Tacos or Mexican grilled foods
                                                        Afghan cooking use scads of them.
                                                        Vietnamese Scallion Oil
                                                        Chinese in all it's many styles
                                                        All over South East Asian cuisines

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: chefj

                                                          Yes, my favorite tacos (served at a nearby dive bar) come with grilled scallions. Such a wonderful addition to the flavor!

                                                        2. Dipped in boiling water until limp enough to tie in a knot, then -
                                                          Smother with ssamjang and eat as a snack or use as a side dish
                                                          Drizzle with a garlicy vinegar, eat as a snack or use as a side dish

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: hannaone

                                                            or tons of raw ones, chopped and put in a bowl of Seolleongtang!
                                                            or as Pa Kimchi 파무침

                                                              1. re: hannaone

                                                                Oh! and Scallion Pancake too, Pajeon especially with very young ones.

                                                          2. http://www.simplyscratch.com/2011/01/...

                                                            this is one of my favorite dips that shows off scallions well.
                                                            Triscuits, toasted Asiago bread pieces, skewers of grilled shrimp and/or beef all go well on a nice platter with the dip.

                                                            1. So good tossed over shrimp and cheesy grits. The recipe I use is from Bobby Flay and I found it on Serious Eats. They really make the dish. And there's bacon in it, so that automatically makes it better :)

                                                              1. I keep them always handy to use in cooked eggs, as topping for baked potatoes with sour cream, used cut large on the diagonal in stir-fries, as garnish for Tex Mex food, and my most recent love affair with scallions is to add them finely chopped to cornbread batter with (or without) grated cheddar cheese.

                                                                1. Wow--who knew they had so many fans? I did, unfortunately. I love onions, and scallions are the only variety I just don't like. I find them too strong and I don't like the texture of the membrane between every layer. Thin layers=more membranes=slimy. Picky, I know. Too bad--they're in/on everything. I'm expert at picking every bit off. :)

                                                                  1. Oh, another place I very deliberately use scallions instead of regular onions... Guacamole!

                                                                    It started several years ago when I had scallions and no onions. A friend of mine wanted to watch/write down my guacamole recipe. I used four full scallions with three avocados, along with other traditional guac fixins.

                                                                    She went on to custom print a "cookbook" for me and our friends (egit's eats?). Once it was set down in black and white, it's just what I do now. Scallions are part of my recipe, not onions. And I'll specifically buy scallions for guac even if I have onions.

                                                                    1. This is pretty ghetto, but I make "scallion burritos" sometime.

                                                                      Take flour tortilla, couple of stalks of scallions, slather on the Hoisin sauce, wrap and eat.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                        Brilliant! Just dream of duck, right? I'm going to put this in my midnight sleepless snack rotatation. Thank you.

                                                                      2. Scallions are a regular purchase for me as well. I'll run out of onions, usually, before I run our or scallions. I add them to almost everything as you do ttoommyy, including egg dishes.

                                                                          1. re: ellepea

                                                                            Made orrechiete with a sauce of scallions, sun dried tomatoes and pancetta last night. Delicious!

                                                                          2. I love to sprinkle scallions on plated fish (usually tuna and swordfish) and usually raw. Would you ever saute them when used as a garnish?

                                                                            1. Scallions from Trader Joe's are one of the Yay products. They label them as Green Onions and sell 2 bunches in a sealed plastic bag for well under 2 bucks. I try to keep them on hand as they are more delicate than onion and are great raw or cooked. I use the whole scallion chopped and cooked in stir fry, mexican rice, omelets and casseroles. The green part is great raw and can be added to anything that calls for chives.

                                                                              1. Scallions, or Green Onions are very typical in Asian Cooking, so whenever I have a rice, noodle or soup bowl dish it is pretty much a given the vegetable will be included in the recipe. I have found that turning Scallions and ginger into a condiment oil is a nice way to get the taste when a trip to the store is not possible.

                                                                                Some of my favorite ways to include scallions in Non Asian cooking

                                                                                Osso Buco with Concasse Tomatoes and Green Onions
                                                                                Scallion and Cream Cheese Omelet
                                                                                Simply Grilled with Olive Oil and Kosher Salt
                                                                                Raw on a Relish Tray
                                                                                Julienne as a garnish for Beef

                                                                                1. Here's a quick recipe: Make cous cous like you normally would and while it's still warm toss in a whole bunch of sliced green onions, some toasted pine nuts, and a big handful of crumbled feta cheese. Yummy.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: ooeygooey

                                                                                    i do the same, sometimes with dried cherries too, and cilantro or parsley. add some good olive oil and lemon juice... yum.

                                                                                  2. Anyone ever tried charring the crap out of them, peeling, then dipping them in romesco sauce? I've seen that on Bourdain's show when he was in spain. Looks so delicious but have not tried it. I think it was a different kind of scallion, though.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: thymetobake

                                                                                      I saw that and was very intrigued. Maybe I'll try it sometime just but throwing some on a grill. Might work, might not.

                                                                                    2. Should you be in Spain a the right time, you can get calcots, a giant scallion cooked over grill over open fire. they get black and you slide off the burned exterior and there you go. Generally eaten there with romanescu sauce, for me fine with just a salt sprinkle,

                                                                                      Can do the same thing with scallions, but watch carefully there crash and burn quickly.

                                                                                      1. I used to be kind of iffy about scallions in raw preparations because they can have kind of a strong flavor that is easy to do wrong. However, a couple years ago a friend brought a salad of mixed greens, chopped apple, scallion, crumbled goat cheese, and vinegar and oil. It was great and won me over to a judicious use of scallions in salads. I prefer to use them if there is cheese or another creamy counterpoint to their sharpness in the salad.

                                                                                        Otherwise, like others, I use them mostly in cooked preps, esp. Asian recipes.

                                                                                        I just served a butternut squash soup yesterday that was drizzled with homemade scallion oil. Just scallions, good olive oil, and a pinch of salt, whizzed in my bullet blender and then strained through a fine-mesh sieve.

                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                          this is so funny to me because i can't eat raw "regular" onions on salads because to me they are too strong, while i find scallions more subtle. since i was a kid, i could eat scallions but not yellow onions. different tastes!

                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                            Oh, I don't eat raw regular onions at all...almost never...maybe a tiny bit minced in some chicken salad. They are too overpowering for me! I once did have a little minced raw onion on some goulash and thought it was good.

                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                              ok, that makes sense. i eat them in salsas, guac, and ceviches, but not in anything else either. which i know makes no sense.

                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                Ah, yes to all three of those, too. Makes perfect sense to me!

                                                                                        2. Love, love, love scallions but note to self - remove each little bit before broiling meat from a marinade with scallions. I had a great time picking out little burned bits.

                                                                                            1. re: stephen

                                                                                              Love that. Will use this recipe next time. Thanks!

                                                                                            2. Wow! So many brilliant ideas here - it's wonderful! I LOVE scallions.

                                                                                              I hope this might be helpful to others.....

                                                                                              I chop up and freeze 'leftover' scallions. They are SO quick to use and handy this way, and frugal, as they don't end up wasted.

                                                                                              I finely slice and double bag them to keep them fresher and to keep the smell contained. They're great for cooking with and pretty good as a garnish in hot dishes this way.

                                                                                              I bought three big bunches recently, chopped and froze them as soon as I got home and I've already used the whole lot as they were so convenient.

                                                                                              Also, any really skinny ones get a soak to plump up their roots and then I plant them in the garden, or sometimes I chop off all but the bottom 3 - 4 inches and plant those bits out. They will continue to grow.

                                                                                              Doing the planting and freezing tricks saves me time and money. All good!