Bundles of green onions on display at a market
Chinese Scallion Oil Is The Mother Sauce You Should Know
If you only use scallions as a garnish, you have to try Chinese scallion oil, a delicate yet essential "mother sauce" that forms the foundation of countless savory dishes.
Scallion oil is made by steeping scallions in a neutral oil over low heat. The steeping tempers the pungency of the scallions, bringing out a slightly sweet, nutty, umami flavor.
The oil is a staple in China and throughout Asia, where scallions have been grown since 3500 B.C. You may have tasted this oil in everything from dan dan noodles to stir-fry.
You can easily make your own by simmering diced scallions in peanut or vegetable oil until they turn golden brown. You can also add ginger, garlic, or Sichuan peppercorns.
Strain the sauce and store it in an airtight jar for up to three months. While the sauce won’t go bad quickly, it’s important to note that its flavor diminishes overtime.
You can use the oil as a finishing garnish on top veggies and meat, or incorporate it into noodle sauces, meat marinades, or homemade salad dressings.
Unlike similar sauces like chili oil, scallion oil is more of a flavor enhancer, so it might get lost in dishes with overpowering flavors.
You can also buy scallion oil at Asian markets or online. Research trusted brands and look for oil with a delicate flavor, with no crunchy scallion bits in the bottle.