Ginger Scallion Sauce

Francis Lam ain’t no fool. When he recommends a recipe as strongly as he did this ginger-scallion sauce, I listen.

I like making condiments. That is a weird thing to write, but it is true. I especially like condiments that are versatile and can help you with dinner (or breakfast or lunch). This seemed to fit the bill, which made me especially excited to give it a try.

Also, I liked the part where you make a “volcano” of oil (extreme cooking! rah!).

It is the briefest of recipes.

  • 2 bunches of scallions (about 6 ounces) rinsed, dried and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 ounces of ginger, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup of peanut oil (or other neutral-ish vegetable oil that handles heat well)

Toss the scallions into the bowl of your food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped, stop short of a puree. Put the scallions in a large heatproof bowl or pot. Add the ginger to the food processor (no need to clean it between) and pulse until it is also finely chopped. Add the ginger to the heatproof bowl with the scallions. Salt the scallion-ginger mixture—a lot. More salt than you think is good, but don’t worry you can always add more later. I used almost a tablespoon of kosher salt. Now, heat the peanut oil in a saucepan until it is very hot. Just as it starts to smoke, pour the hot oil over the salty scallions and ginger. As Lam correctly pointed out, things are about to get real. When you pour the insanely hot oil over the scallions and ginger and salt it is going to steam and hiss and bubble and scare you. Keep your wits about you! Be careful! Wear long sleeves!

Let the mixture cool in the bowl. It will smell amazing. When it is cool, transfer it to a jar and put it in the fridge. You can now enjoy it however you like.

I like it with chicken. We grilled a couple of chicken breasts, put them on a pile of brown rice and poured the sauce over. Amazing. Scrambled eggs are good too. Rice. Pork. Tofu. Ice cream. If you are anything like me, you’ll be so happy to have this in your repertoire. It should keep well in the fridge for at least a couple of weeks. One more thing, I like the sauce best at room temperature, so plan ahead.

I was joking about ice cream.


UPDATE: Check out comments to see that some folks find this too salty. I find that hard to imagine, unless you were using it with already salty food.  Francis Lam agrees on lots of salt and in general condiments like this should be pretty salty. Also, please note that my measurement is for kosher salt, not regular table salt. All of this to say, maybe start with a teaspoon and add from there, especially if you are sensitive to sodium. Thanks, all!

68 comments to “Ginger Scallion Sauce”

  1. Glad I stumbled on your site, I’m making a batch today for the first time – hope all goes well. I guess I’ll put a little less salt in & see how it tastes…

  2. So amazing! I put four chicken breasts in a ziploc with about six big spoonfuls of the sauce and mixed. Then let it marinate in the fridge for about 24 hours. My husband grilled it, then while still piping hot, I served it with a drizzle of the sauce. It was so delish! I used celtic gray salt and fresh ground peppercorn blend (red, white and black). Thanks for such an amazing recipe!

  3. I’ve made both the Momofuku version and this (hot oil) version and I have to say, much as I love all things David Chang, this version is indeed *way* better. I also agree that salty is good – I thought I over salted in my first attempt, and once I added to some noodles everything tasted perfectly seasoned!!

    Don’t forget the squirt of hoisin!

  4. have used it on chops, eggs and last night threw about 4 tsp. in to cook with the rice. great extra flavor boost!

  5. whoops, i mean 4 tbls. im sure more wouldnt hurt!

  6. Chinese chef says:

    September 2nd, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    This is a partial recipe for the sauce on an old style Chinese dishl called cold ginger chicken. Very tasty. My grandfather used to make. I miss it so much. I haven’t had it in 10 years

  7. would this taste good over grilled veggies?

  8. Hi. It would not be my first choice, but maybe you could find something that works. Mushrooms? Potatoes? I would prefer something like tofu…or even just rice.

  9. Cannot have salt but could just put a little, so…….would it still work and, would it freeze in ice-cubes so that I could enjoy a bit here and there?

  10. Hi Shakti- I don’t think this would be good without salt.

  11. This will go well alongside soy sauce too, and rice ;)

  12. Why is there so much fat in it? Peanut oil isn’t that fattening. I have tried this before with light olive oil but I may give the peanut a shot

  13. could this be frozen?

  14. Hi Katie, I haven’t tried. My guess is that it would get weird, but I am not sure. If you try, let us know.

  15. I made this recipe and I loved it. I used it as a sauce over pasta, chicken and broccoli. The only change I made was to add some sesame oil. It reminds me of a Jeff Smith recipe I make for Chinese chicken. You put chicken on a bed of pasta add scallions, soy sauce, and sesame oil. then pour hot peanut oil over.

  16. Yornsen says:

    May 7th, 2014 at 6:34 am

    Are you using scallions or green onions?

  17. Hi Yornsen- They are the same thing, at least in the States. I’m using what is pictured in the photographs.

  18. Would it be possible to can this?