If you are craving a hit of less-intense onion flavors in your food, then add green onions to your recipe. Other than its aromatic flavor, green onions add crunch, color, texture, and overall appeal to an endless array of dishes.
As a result, this popular and versatile vegetable is widely used for seasoning food or as a garnish across the globe.
The white parts, for instance, are a common flavoring in Chinese, Korean, Mexican, and British cuisines, often providing an aromatic base of a dish.
The green part offers a milder and sweeter onion flavor compared to the bulb onion, making it ideal for garnishing dishes like salads, nachos, stews, etc.
What Are Green Onions?
Green onions, also known as scallions, baby onions, and salad onions, are fresh leafy onions that do not develop a bulbous root. As a result, these onions taste crisper and more refreshing compared to bulb onions when cooked. Green onions can be eaten raw or cooked. You can roast, saute, grill, or chop them to use as a garnish on soups, salads, curry, chicken salad, or tuna.
Other than their culinary benefits, green onions are packed with essential nutrients. In addition, it protects and fights against many diseases. For example, green onions help to decrease cancer risk and obesity, make bones strong, and are good for heart health.
To enjoy this herb to the fullest, cutting it the right way is a basic cooking skill that you must know. This article will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to easily cut green onions.
How to Prepare Your Green Onions
But before you start cutting scallions to use in your favorite recipes, here are a few things you should do:
Choose the Best Scallions
When buying green onions from the grocery store, choose bunches with crisp green leaves and firm stalks. The top of the onions should be bright green. Ensure the green end is not damaged or with a wilted or yellowing top. Also, avoid soggy or rotting white tips.
Rinse the Green Onion
Wash your scallions under cold running water. While at it, make sure to remove any dirty or dry leaves. Place the onions on a cutting board and pat dry with a clean cloth kitchen towel or paper towel. You can also place it into a colander and wait until all water drains.
Remove the Dry Outer Layers
Finally, peel off any slimy skin from the scallions before cutting your green onions. Also, remove any wilted or damaged parts.
How to Cut Green Onions
Cutting green onions is quite easy and provides a great way to hone your knife skills. There are different ways to cut green onions. The best technique will depend on what your recipe calls for.
We generally recommend using just the green tops for their mild flavor for raw preparations like a garnish. However, below is a set of instructions to help you cut green onions.
What You’ll Need
- Large chef’s knife
- Cutting board
- Paper towel
- Green onions/scallions
Green Onion Coins of Ring-like Slices
This is one of the easiest and most common ways to cut scallions. This cut produces thin slices that can be used in cooked dishes such as stir-fries, omelets, sauces. It can also be used to garnish tacos pizzas or add a pop of flavor to salads.
- Place 1 bunch of scallions on your cutting board.
- Chop off the bulb end of the stalk, including the hardtop portion.
- Line up the green onions on your chopping board.
- Place your chef’s knife perpendicularly over the green onions.
- Keep the green onions in place with your non-dominant hand.
- Without pushing down, slide the sharp knife back and forth in a rocking motion to avoid crushing the green onions.
Green Onion Bias Cuts
This cut produces a beautiful shape that makes it ideal for use as a garnish for baked potatoes, noodles, fried rice, and stews.
- Cut off the roots of each scallion.
- Separate the green onions into whites and greens.
- Position your knife at a 45-degree angle to the bulb.
- Slice your scallions into pieces no thinner than 1/2 inch thick.
Shredded or Curled Cuts
This cut method creates hairs of green onions. Since the hairs are so fine, the onion has a less intense flavor than other cuts. As such, this cut works best if you intend to use your scallion for salads or as a ramen garnish to brighten their appearance and flavor.
- Start by trimming off the root ends of the scallions.
- Using a very sharp knife, slice your green onions lengthwise into very thin strips that are 3-5 inches long. (the knife needs to be parallel to the green stalks ).
- These beautiful green onion hairs can be as thin or as dense as you’d like.
- Place the green onion shreds into a bowl. Add enough ice water to completely immerse the scallions. The shreds should start to curl within 15 to 30 minutes. Once they are curled, drain the water. Pat them dry with a paper towel or use a salad spinner to remove any excess water.
- Use the scallion curls immediately or put them in a paper towel, place them in a plastic bag and keep them in the refrigerator. They should stay fresh for 2-3 days.
Green Onion Brushes
Green onion brushes are a regular in most Chinese restaurants. They are often served alongside Peking duck and a bowl of hoisin sauce. These cute little green onion brushes are used to paint the sauce on the pancakes. Fortunately, these tiny brushes are super easy to make:
- The first step to making green onion brushes is to cut the scallions to a length of about 2.5 inches.
- Trim off the roots as close to the base as you can.
- Use your non-dominant hand to hold down the green onions in a steady position.
- Position the knife parallel to the green onions and cut through the green onion to split the end in half.
- Rotate the green onion and repeat the process a few more times so that you have a total of 4 cuts. This will help you break the green onion end into 8 separate parts.
- Place the brushes in a bowl. Add in ice water to cover them and then put them in the fridge.
- Let the onions soak for at least 30 minutes or even overnight to make them firm and curl.
How to Store Whole Green Onions?
Store green onions wrapped in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator for about 5 days. Alternatively, place whole green onions in a jar with a few inches of water.
Make sure the roots are completely submerged in water. Your scallions can last for 1 to 2 weeks with this storage method. After that, change out the water every 3 days.
How to Preserve Pre-cut Green Onions?
To get your chopped green onions to last longer, place them in a paper towel and run water through until the water runs clear. Then, squeeze the excess water out of the onions and place them on a dry paper towel.
Squeeze again to remove as much moisture as possible and let them air dry for 10-15 minutes. Store green onion slices in an airtight container with a dry paper towel underneath to absorb any excess moisture.
Which Part of the Green Onion Do You Cut?
All parts of the green onion are edible. So do not be afraid to cut up the entire green onion. However, the white part of the onion has a more intense onion flavor than the green art.
When preparing your green onion, most people trim off and discard the tops and roots of the green onion. However, you can also choose to grow your own green onions from the root end.
What Is the Difference Between Scallions and Green Onions?
There is no difference. Scallions and green onions are the same thing. They are both names of immature onions. Note, however, that scallions and green onions are not the same as spring onions. Spring onions are left in the ground to grow a little longer. Also, they develop small rounded bulbs, unlike green onions.