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. ha – a volcano of oil! nice. I love these simple recipes where the final product is so much more impressive than it seems like it should be. This looks pretty great.

  2. I tried the ginger-scallion sauce recipe from the Momofuku cookbook, but it was a failure (probably on my part). Maybe I’ll give this a try.

  3. I’ve also made the Momofuku version of this (which I love). This looks like an interesting variation. I will give it a try. I love making condiments too! I’m looking for some good hot sauce recipes.

  4. Homemade condiments are so much fun. It’s also great to have a jar of something bright and cheerful awaiting you in the fridge. Makes winter cooking a bit more exciting. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Ryan- Try this hot sauce: it is sooo good.

  6. Whoa! This looks like the perfect accompaniment to Smitten Kitchen’s ginger fried rice I’m plotting. I love making sauces too!

  7. This is one of my husband’s favorite recipes to make and eat. I think it’s mostly because he gets to say “it’s blowin’ up!!” Regardless of why he makes it, it’s darn good.



  8. Trying this out today: I’ve have a bumper crop of windowsill scallions and this is just what I have been looking for to use them up. Thanks!

    (Also thanks for the warning about it being scary).

  9. Ooh, I really like scallions. I’ll have to try this!

  10. Sounds like a plan.

  11. This sounds wonderful and exciting!! I love your description of what will happen when you pour the oil over the scallions and ginger. I am thinking about having a party and inviting people over to watch…ha!! I also make Ginger Juice to keep in the fridge and add to stir fries by punding both with a mallet, putting them in a jar and covering them with filtered water.

  12. Hey this looks sooo amazing. I can already imagine the uses for it :) btw i lovee the new font!

  13. I’m currently obsessed with sesame oil. That would work all right, wouldn’t it? I don’t know anything about how it handles heat, as you say. This looks good– makes me want a cilantro sauce recipe as well!

  14. Katherine- Nope! Do not use sesame oil. It does not handle heat well at all. Also, it would be way too much flavor. Instead, make this with a neutral oil (like corn or peanut) and then drizzle a little sesame oil on the finished dish. Make sense?

    Jillian- Thanks for noticing the font change. Unfortunately, it isn’t rendering well in Windows so it will likely be changing again. It is frustrating when technology isn’t keeping up!

  15. Yum! Looks aweseme! How do you think coconut oil would do in this recipe!

  16. HM- I don’t have much experience working with coconut oil. Doesn’t it solidify when cool? If so, don’t use it. You don’t want that to happen. Also, you want a neutral-flavored oil here, I really do think peanut or corn oil would be best. Canola tastes crazy when it gets hot, and olive oil is too flavorful and not great in high heat.

  17. How long will this keep in the fridge? Looks delicious!

  18. Hi Danielle- As I said in the post, it will keep for at least a couple of weeks. I haven’t tried for longer than that, but it is so good it probably wont last that long anyway!

  19. Good point about the coconut oil solidifying. I will pick up some peanut oil later this week. Thanks again!

  20. Yummmm that is my kind of condiment! Thanks!

  21. Aha, this is where those pesky bunches of scallions I never use up are going from this day on.

  22. Mmm, I can just imagine the smell of this sauce. Yum! I enjoy making my own condiments as well. Much better than the store-bought stuff.

  23. I absolutely love scallions! So glad to learn about this sauce. All the ingredients are in the house.

  24. that top photo is GORGEOUS!!!!!!

  25. Bottles and jars with homemade stuff to perk up almost anything. How I love them. My fridge is full of them, but I will have to make some room for this wonderful scallion ginger sauce. It looks like must make.

  26. Wow, does this look and sound delicious! And so versatile– even better. Intrigues me even without the “volcano”, but I can’t wait to try this and see what THAT’S all about!

  27. Condiments! Yes! Look how glorious and green this is — I’ll just have to give this the ol’ weekend try. Beautiful.

  28. I’ve read enough…I am making this sauce pronto! I am regularly looking for things like this that are easy to make and have on hand for a quick addition to a meal and this sure fits the bill! It looks really delicious and I can’t wait to actually try it as you recommended with the chicken and brown rice.

  29. When living around hungry roommates, it is best to not only make things that are shades of green and brown, but also things that ideally have stuff floating in it. This way the delicious secret my jar protects is guaranteed to be all MINE! Can’t wait to try this!!!

  30. This sauce looks amazing! Yum – lovely! :)

  31. Ambika Kumar says:

    February 6th, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    This is like an oriental pesto! I love it…going to try making this today. I was wondering if i could add chopped up garlic to this mixture?

  32. Would it be okay to just eat condiments and sides for awhile?

  33. Stefani! That is basically what I do, so yes. On Sunday we ate guacamole for dinner. ; )

  34. Yes, condiments forever! I eat fried eggs almost singularly because they make excellent condiment vehicles.

    Also, love your site’s new look! Subtle but lovely.

  35. Thank you! This is exactly what I needed without knowing that I needed it.

  36. I tried this yesterday, and we found it too salty for our taste (but the color is inspiring), so I “corrected” it by whirling Italian parsley through the food processor and integrating that into the mix. Now, for my partner and me, it’s perfection.

  37. my kids love this sauce especially with cucumber salad. It is similar to the chinese Scallion oil version but they strain the scallion.

  38. this is going to be made instantly and eaten with aplomb at my house. i know it. i also love to make condiments. and anything that involves all that drama sounds right up my alley.
    yum. and thank you.

  39. um, i definitely meant to say abandon….! eaten with abandon!

  40. This is kinda awesome. I want to rock this on some eggs tomorrow morning.

  41. Pam @ Sticks Forks Fingers says:

    February 8th, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Tim, you make three easy ingredients sound like an incredible adventure. This will be good.

  42. so glad i came across your site – so many new recipes to try!
    i see that you are from chicago, I am thinking of moving there post-graduation in may… its such an amazing city

  43. lechow- ha! made me laugh. ; )
    Lauren- Chicago is rad, you’d have fun here. (and you’d eat well!)

  44. Oh man, this looks amazing! And so simple. I do love sauces with my scrambled eggs…

  45. Isabella Binny says:

    February 12th, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Tim, how do you reheat? Microwave?

  46. i made did over the weekend. Smells are amazing as you said, although i didn’t have a chance to try yet. can’t wait to see the results! thanks tons! love your blog…

  47. Great use of extra scallions! I always have ginger around, so tried this one right away… however, took your advice on the salt and found it to be way too salty. (I probably used about 1/2 tsp of ground sea salt?) Other than that, delicious, and exciting to make!

  48. Hey Mal,
    Thanks for checking in. I updated the post above so that people sensitive to salt are more cautious. Salt varies, palates vary, so everyone will need to find the amount they are comfortable with.

  49. Isabella- Ah! I just saw I missed your comment. I have just been taking the amount I want to use out of the fridge in advance to get it to room temperature. I like the sauce served at room temp. You could also microwave on very low power, briefly, to take the chill off.

  50. Ohhhh….was so bummed. Used coarse sea salt and it was waaaaaaaaaaay too salty (and I’m a salt fanatic). But all was not lost…..I was making at the same time a thai/coconut milk/lemon grass soup….and I added half of it to that! Yum! Also added it to some chicken salad I was making! Made that intesting as well. Looking forward to making the sauce again and cutting the salt back.

  51. 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…

  52. 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!

  53. 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!

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

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

  56. 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

  57. would this taste good over grilled veggies?

  58. 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.

  59. 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?

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

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

  62. 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

  63. could this be frozen?

  64. 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.

  65. 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.

  66. Yornsen says:

    May 7th, 2014 at 6:34 am

    Are you using scallions or green onions?

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

  68. Would it be possible to can this?

What do you think?