A step by step recipe guiding you to make Chinese spring onion oil (aka scallion oil) without fail. You will also learn how to use this versatile condiments in seven ways.
In a typical Chinese kitchen, you can always find three indispensable herbs: spring onion (aka scallion or green onion), ginger and garlic. They are common ingredients yet give dishes so much aroma and flavour. Unlike ginger and garlic which can be kept at room temperature for quite a while, spring onion doesn’t last that long, even when kept in the fridge. That’s why a jar of homemade Chinese spring onion oil (葱油, aka scallion oil) comes in handy.
7 ways to use it in Chinese cuisine
Chinese spring onion oil can be used in many ways. It’s truly worth having it in your kitchen. Not only does it provide an unique aroma to dishes, it will also save you lots of time in everyday meal preparation.
- For noodles. Spring onion oil is the star ingredient for the famous Shanghai spring onion oil noodles, a delectable dish that can be served in a few minutes as a quick and filling breakfast / lunch.
- For stir-fry. This will save you time buying, washing and chopping fresh spring onion. I often use it (instead of cooking oil) to cook fried rice.
- For salad. You can use it for all type of Chinese salad dishes to replace sesame oil.
- For steamed dish. For example, it’s a brilliant addition to steamed fish (e.g. Steamed salmon) thanks to its strong, infused flavour.
- For soup. Simply pour a few drops over a finished soup to add an extra zing.
- For marinade. Use it to replace regular oil to give meat more fragrance.
- For bread. For Chinese pan fried bread, such as Spring onion flatbread, Spiced beef flatbread, etc., use it to replace regular oil when you don’t have fresh spring onion to hand.
3 tips to ensure the desired result
The making of Chinese spring onion oil is pretty straightforward: just simmer spring onion in oil over a medium low heat, then cool and store. The traditional recipe usually calls for spring onion only. I like adding one more ingredient to the recipe: shallot or onion. This will enhance the fragrance and flavour of the finished oil. A few tips for helping you achieve the desired result:
- The lower the heat is, the longer will it take you to simmer. However, an extended process will extract more flavour from the shallot and spring onion, thus the oil will be more aromatic.
- It takes me 25 minutes or so to complete the simmering over a medium low heat. Do keep a close eye on it as you don’t want to over-fry the ingredients which might leave an unpleasant burnt flavour in the oil.
- To make this recipe even simpler, you may skip shallot/onion and only use spring onion. If you don’t wish to store up a big batch, please feel free to cook a small amount as required.
Hope my post encourage you to make and store some Chinese spring onion oil in your kitchen. Check out the “Fundamental” section in the site menu to discover more recipes of homemade Chinese condiment.
Have a great day!
A classic dish using spring onion oil:
Another versatile homemade condiment: