Many months, moons, and news cycles ago, one of my (and many others’) main concerns was “running out” of food before the pandemic was “over.” Honestly, were we ever so young? The idea that a single, ambitious trip to Costco would be enough to last us through the pandemic seems laughable now, but having that as a goal helped me learn how to shop more efficiently and cut down on waste.
For many of us, part of “cutting down on waste” meant using green onion butts to grow more green onions. Some of us took to it better than others. I regrew a bunch or two, but I am terrible at caring for plants, so my windowsill green onions eventually withered from neglect. But A.A. Newton is a better plant parent than I, and her green onions grew prolifically, all healthy and strong, to the point that she had to offload some on me.
By “some,” I mean “a butt-load” — so many that relegating them to “garnish only” would result in them wilting and withering before I got through them all. Luckily, a butt-load of green onions is exactly what’s needed to create a very delicious, three-ingredient sauce. (The other two ingredients are oil and salt.)
Green onion sauce (which can be riffed on to make ginger green onion sauce or garlic green onion sauce), is so fast and so easy, it’s hard to claim there’s a “recipe” involved. All you have to do is chop a bunch of green onions, mix them with a little salt, then pour smoking-hot oil on top to briefly cook them and flavour the oil. If you want ginger green onion sauce, add a spoonful of microplaned ginger before you add the oil; if you want garlic green onion sauce, add some microplaned garlic. Once the oil has cooled, give your sauce a taste and season with a little more salt (or anything else you want) if needed. A splash of soy sauce and seasoned rice vinegar (and maybe a little pickled ginger brine) makes a really excellent dipping sauce. You can also use it as a base for a green onion vinaigrette.
I know I said there wasn’t a “recipe,” but there is a ratio and some instructions, which I guess is what a recipe is. (Where are the lines?) To make super easy green onion sauce, you will need:
- 1 1/2 packed cups of finely chopped green onions (at least 5 bunches if your green onions are small, probably more. I used 3 of A.A. Newton’s monster green onion bunches.)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup neutral oil (grape seed, vegetable, and canola all work)
Slice the green onions super thinly, then run your knife though them to chop the rings into bits. Don’t worry about it being super uniform. Place the green onions in a heat-safe bowl, coat them with salt, then heat the oil in a pan until it’s smoking hot. (It should sizzle and sputter when you place a slice of green onion in it.)
Drizzle the very hot oil over the green onions, stirring constantly. You may not need to add all of the oil; a full 1/2 cup will result in some oil pooling in the sauce, which isn’t bad, but back it off to seven tablespoons if you want a dryer sauce. Give it a taste. Adjust the seasoning if you desire, then drizzle on anything that needs a savoury, allium-y, green onion boost.