What To Do With Scallions Best Recipes

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  • If you don’t mind a rustic cut, use kitchen shears to quickly slice a small amount of scallions for your recipe.

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How to Grow Scallions in Pots

Scallions grow well in containers, as their root system is fairly small. Make sure the container has drainage holes. Any container material will do, though an unglazed clay that allows excess soil moisture to escape through its walls can help to prevent root rot from overwatering. Be sure to empty the container saucer right away if it fills with water.

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How do you cook scallions?

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Scallions are popular for many dishes, especially for Asian-inspired recipes. As mentioned, scallions have enough of a flavor but are also mild enough to enjoy raw, fully cooked, or somewhere in the middle, and can be used as a garnish, added flavor element, or a more hearty, central ingredient (via The Spruce Eats).

You’ll often see scallions in dishes like ramen and stir-fry. They can also be used to top soups, add a slight onion flavor to a sweet dish like orange chicken, or in cheesy dishes like loaded baked potatoes. Food & Wine lists several ways you can use scallions, including in salads, savory baked goods (think: cheddar biscuits), or within any of your favorite noodle dishes, particularly ones with Asian-inspired sauces.

If you’re cooking scallions and have properly washed and cut them, you can cook them really in any way — a popular method includes sautéing chopped scallions in oil or butter (sometimes with other chopped onions, garlic, or herbs and seasonings of your choice). If baking with scallions, you’ll typically incorporate them into a base or mixture and simply pop that dish in the oven.

Scallion Nutrition

Like almost all vegetables and fruits, scallions are mostly water. A cup of scallions has just 32 calories, only trace amounts of fat, and zero cholesterol. They also have less sugar and fewer carbs than vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and corn.

A 1-cup serving of scallions packs:

  • Twice the daily recommended amount for adults of vitamin K, which helps your blood clot and keeps your bones strong
  • About 25% of your daily value for vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps protect your cells from damage
  • About 16% of your daily requirement for folate, a vitamin your body needs to make DNA and which is especially important for women who are pregnant

Do Scallions Go Bad?

Scallions refrigerated in water can last a week or longer. You can also freeze sliced scallions to extend their shelf life, but their texture will change when defrosted, so previously frozen scallions should only be used in cooked preparations.

Grow Scallions Indoors

For those looking for an easy and delicious veggie to grow, learning how to grow scallions indoors is a great option. Scallions are one of the easiest veggies to care for, and one of the few that can produce edible plants in low light conditions. Being able to start from store bought stalks is also a nice bonus, and means no one has any excuse not to grow this delicious plant!

High Quality Scallion Seeds on Amazon.com

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How to Grow Scallions From Seed

You can start seeds indoors about eight to 10 weeks before your projected last frost date, or direct sow in the garden once the threat of frost has passed. Sow the seeds about 1/4 inch deep. As with other onions, germination can be slow and poor. The most important element scallion seeds need is constant moisture, which makes starting them indoors where you can keep an eye on them a good choice. Seedlings should emerge in one to two weeks. Once you have growth, thin the seedlings to about 2 inches apart. For a continual harvest, succession-plant new crops every three to four weeks.

Sunlight

Scallions are quite interesting in that they can grow in both full and low light conditions. For best results, place them in a bright, sunny spot that receives 6-8 hours of sunlight per day. If that’s not possible however, scallions will be perfectly happy to grow in lower light conditions. This will not affect the quality of the plant, but will slow down its growth. Bright light will yield harvest-able plants in the shortest time, while a more shady location will still produce harvest-able plant just in a longer time frame. This makes it super easy to grow scallions indoors as they are one of the few veggies that can grow in lower light.

Cooking with Scallions Vs Shallots

Though both scallions and shallots come from the same family of vegetables, they have distinct flavors and are utilized in different dishes, though they can sometimes be used in the same dish.

They both have a strong, aromatic taste that characterizes all alliums, including garlic and onions. However, that doesn’t mean that you can use one in place of the other. 

While scallions have a milder flavor, shallots are much stronger and more garlicky. The green part of a scallion can even have a grassy flavor.

Shallots, on the other hand, offer quite a bit of a bite before they are cooked, and when caramelized, much like an onion, their natural sweetness is highlighted. 

The Best Way to Cook Scallions

Scallions, just like shallots, can either be cooked or served raw. When served raw, they are often used as a garnish for salads, soups, or cooked meats and fish.

When it comes to cooking them, they are delicious grilled, roasted, or sauteed. 

Scallion Recipes

Scallions are a staple ingredient in a variety of recipes, perhaps the most well-known of them being scallion pancakes.

They are most often used in Asian cuisine, and can be frequently found in stir fries, noodle bowls, and fried rice. On top of this, they are quite often used as a final garnish on a dish.  

Scallions are also delicious grilled and can be served on their own or even be paired with a bit of lemon and parmesan.

Consider adding scallions to your homemade onion dip (we promise, you won’t regret it).

Scallion cream cheese is also a delicious bagel topping, perfectly paired with smoked salmon for bagels and lox. 

If you’re looking for unique ways to cook with scallions, consider trying cheesy grits with scallions and jammy eggs or grilling them with cauliflower steaks.

If you have lots of scallions on hand, toss them in your salads, and not just with lettuce!

They go great in potato salad, egg salad, tuna salad, and chicken salad as well. You can even bake with scallions, making favorites like cheddar cheese and scallion scones or biscuits. 

The Best Way to Cook Shallots

Shallots are quite often included in sauces, meaning that they are with diced thin and served raw or sauteed with other ingredients.

However, they are delicious when caramelized and added to dishes and can even be roasted or braised whole.

Shallot Recipes

Shallots are an incredibly versatile ingredient that’s just as valuable raw as they are cooked.

They are a staple ingredient in many vinaigrette dressings and can be used to add a bit of bite to salads. When served on their own, shallots can be slow-roasted, glazed, pickled, caramelized, and prepared practically any way you could imagine. 

Shallots are also a key element in classic French cuisine. You can find them in the essential French Béarnaise sauce, French string beans with shallots, or even French shallot soup. Additionally, shallot sauce is quite often served with steak. 

If you don’t know what to do with all of your shallots, caramelize them and add them to tomato sauce to add a touch of sweetness, or mix with Greek yogurt for an easy shallot dip. When cooking with shallots, your opportunities are endless!

Where to Buy Scallions

Scallions are available at grocery stores and farmers’ markets year-round, though they’re at their peak during the spring and summer months (which is why they’re sometimes called spring onions). They range in size from small to large, the medium-sized being the best tasting. Look for onions whose white base is firm and where the green ends are brightly colored and stiff. Avoid any bunches where the leaves are wilted and yellowing. 

Nutrition Facts

Scallions are low in calories but contain a good amount of vitamin K, dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A and folate.

One cup (100 grams) of chopped scallions contains approximately: (16)

  • 32 calories
  • 7.3 grams carbohydrates
  • 1.8 grams protein
  • 0.2 gram fat
  • 2.6 grams fiber
  • 207 micrograms vitamin K (259 percent DV)
  • 18.8 milligrams vitamin C (31 percent DV)
  • 997 IU vitamin A (20 percent DV)
  • 64 micrograms folate (16 percent DV)
  • 1.5 milligrams iron (8 percent DV)
  • 276 milligrams potassium (8 percent DV)
  • 0.2 milligram manganese (8 percent DV)
  • 72 milligrams calcium (7 percent DV)
  • 0.1 milligram riboflavin (5 percent DV)
  • 20 milligrams magnesium (5 percent DV)

History

Scallions have a rich history of use throughout the world. In fact, even the name “scallion” can be traced way back to the Greek word “askolonion,” which is named after the ancient city of Ashkelon.

Today, scallions are an integral part of many traditional dishes and festivities. During Passover Seder, for instance, it is tradition for Sephardic Jews to sing “Dayenu” and begin a game that involves whipping their family members with scallions.

In Vietnam, green onions are fermented and used in dưa hành, a dish that is traditionally served for the Vietnamese New Year.

Scallions are also a staple ingredient in palapa, a Filipino condiment used to spice up dishes or top off fried foods.

In Japan, scallions are used in everything from rice dishes to hot pots, while in Mexico, grilled green onions called cebollitas (or “little onions”) are a barbecue favorite.

How to Use Scallions

One of the wonderful things about scallions is that they're mild enough to be eaten raw or only slightly cooked, which preserves their crisp texture. 

Although scallions may be cooked, either whole or chopped, they are perhaps most enjoyed fresh in salads, as crudites or as a last minute topper for sauces. Scallions are a popular ingredient in Asian and Latin-American cooking and are often used as a garnish in a variety of recipes.

Latin American cuisine often uses a variety of scallions with larger, more bulbous bottoms called cebollitas, essentially baby white onions with their shoots still attached. But the more common variety of scallions are straight, cylindrical shoots.

Cooked scallions can be included in stir-frys, often as one of the last ingredients added so that they stay crisp. They're also often included in marinades and salad dressings. Sliced thinly, they release more of their flavor to the dish, whereas bigger pieces will release more of their flavor when eaten.

The Spruce / Tim Liedtke

Related Questions

What are alliums?

We’ve talked a lot about alliums in this article, and that’s because both scallions and shallots are members of the allium family.

In simple terms, alliums are a family of flowering plants that include common vegetables such as onions, garlic, leeks, chives, and, of course, scallions and shallots.

Their high concentration of beneficial sulfur is what gives them their strong and distinct flavor and taste and makes them a favorite ingredient in such a wide variety of cuisines.  

Can you replace scallions with shallots in a recipe and vice versa?

Though they do come from the same family of vegetables, scallions and shallots offer distinct flavors and textures that cannot easily be swapped out in recipes.

Especially when using them raw, shallots have much of a stronger bite than scallions, so if you use scallions in their place, your dish or sauce may lack the strength that shallots offer. 

When cooking them in some way, the substitution may be somewhat more forgiving. Though both are delicious when sauteed or cooked slowly, shallots, when caramelized, for example, add a sweetness to your dish that scallions may not be able to replicate. 

A better replacement for scallions, for example, would be green or spring onions, as they are harvested in a very similar manner.

When it comes to replacing shallots, we recommend turning to another member of the allium family, such as onions, as they offer a more similar texture and taste to shallots than scallions do. 

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