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For anyone new to cooking that wants to learn the basics, there are a few fundamental things to learn. One of these is to do with preparing food. It is essential in every dish to prepare your food the correct way, and this sometimes means chopping and cutting. When it comes to fruits and vegetables, there is nothing more important than being able to quickly, efficiently, and (most importantly) safely do this. Today, we will discuss how to cut green onions, a delicious addition to any salad.
Table of Contents
- What Are Green Onions
- Preparing And Washing Green Onions
- Cutting Green Onions
- Herb Scissors
- Storing Green Onions
- Using Green Onions
What Are Green Onions
Green onions, also known as spring onions or scallions, are a vegetable that is very similar to an onion despite being nothing alike in appearance. They are closely related to garlic and leeks, yet are known as onions.
They are a lot milder in flavor than onions and can be used in fairly different situations. Spring onions are long and thin with bulbous points at the end that can be optionally cut off. You can eat the white part of the onions, however many people opt to only use the dark green bits as they are better for a consistent texture and also look nicer for presentation purposes.
Preparing And Washing Green Onions
While it should be common practice with every fresh piece of fruit or vegetable you use, it is important to clean your green onions before use. Green onions and leeks are notoriously bad for dirt and bacteria getting trapped in the long tube part of them, which can also be very easy to miss when you are cleaning or rinsing your vegetables.
You can rinse them with water in a sink and ensure that you get the water to flow down them vertically to clean them out, or you can place your onions in a colander and fill it with fresh water while swishing them around to evenly clean them. The method is up to you but it is essential that you clean them properly.
After washing your scallions, pat them dry with paper towels. Try and get as much water off as possible and then leave them to naturally drain on a paper towel while you sort out some other ingredients.
Many green onions come with a string or elastic band wrapped around them to keep them in a bunch. It is important to remove this before you try and cut or cook them. This can be done either by pulling off the string or band or simply by cutting them with scissors.
Cutting Green Onions
Depending on what the recipe calls for, you might be focusing on cutting the green parts of the onion or the white parts at the base. No matter which side you are needing, you will want to cut off the very bottom of the white part that contains the roots.
There are not too many ways to cut green onions as they are quite little, however, there are still a couple of varying methods that can be used for different reasons.
Thinly Sliced Green onions
Cutting your green onions into thin slices is the most typical way to prepare them. This is because they are little, easy to do, and uniform which makes them look nice.
To cut your green onions into thin slices, you will need a cutting board, a very sharp knife, and your green onions. A sharp knife helps with this as the less resistance there is, the less likely you are to injure yourself. Dull knives are far more dangerous as you can slip a lot easier with them.
Get 2-3 spring onions and stack them in any way you desire. This can be in a triangular shape, a line of three, or a stack of three. Place your fingers in a claw grip on top of the scallions and start slicing your onions into slices that are approximately 2-3mm thick. As you cut more of the green onion, slowly move your hand and the knife lower down the onions, keeping the knuckle of your middle finger against the side of the knife as a guide. This grip is important to learn as it lets you cut quickly, cleanly, and also very safely.
You can stop when you reach the white parts, or you can keep going. This same method works on the white parts and allows you to cut those into slices as well.
Diagonally Sliced Green Onions
If you are wanting to add more flair to your dish, you can garnish it with cut green onions that have been cut diagonally. While it is not the best for stir-fries or dishes in which the onions will be mixed in, this method is amazing for dishes or items of food that can have a nice garnish for presentation.
To cut your onions like this, you will want to follow the same steps as the thin slices but rotate the onions about 45 degrees. This will create longer slices that are also a bit thinner. Throw some of these on top of a ramen dish and it will certainly catch someone’s eye.
Diced Green Onions
Diced green onions are very easy to prepare and can be used in dishes where you want the flavor of the scallions but not the texture or the appearance of them.
To dice your spring onions, you will want to thinly slice them as before until you have a good pile of them. The slices can be as thick or as thin as you want. It is best to cut these onto a cutting board that can be rotated easily.
Once you have your slices all ready, you can rotate the cutting board 90 degrees and start slicing them again. This will be more difficult as you cannot be as precise now that they are in slices, but the goal is to just cut them as much as you can in this direction. A great method for this is keeping the tip of your sharp knife on the board at all times while lifting the back of the blade up and slicing it as finely as you can. You can now throw your diced green onions into whatever dish you need to.
If you are wanting to make green onion a more common item on your shopping list, or you have a lot of other annoying ingredients that require similar preparation, you may want to invest in herb scissors. While not everyone will want to spend more money just for convenience, those that want to will be delighted to know you can find them almost anywhere.
They are scissors that have multiple blades, usually three on each side. They are also very sharp so that they can easily cut any herb or green onion that you place in them. They are essentially going to give you the same end result as thinly slicing your green onions will, but it will take so much less time and be a lot easier.
Storing Green Onions
It is very easy to overestimate how many green onions or slices of green onion you need for a dish, so it is very likely you will have some left over. There is no need to throw them away as you can easily store them for a few days so that you have a chance to use them again in a different dish.
Storing Chopped Green Onions
Storing green onions that have already been chopped and prepared will make it a lot easier to use them when they are next needed. It is also very easy to store them as all you need is an airtight container and some paper towels.
Firstly, wrap them in paper towels and soak them in water. After they are soaked you will want to squeeze the water out of both the cut green onions and the paper towel. You will now need to do the same thing again but without the water. Place them in a dry paper towel and squeeze any moisture out. Finally, you can put a single paper towel at the bottom of an airtight container and toss your green onions in there. This will keep them fresh and ready to use for up to a week.
If you want to store whole green onions, you have several options. The easiest option is to wrap your green onions in a damp paper towel (ensure it is moist and not wet) and then wrap that in plastic wrap or place them in a large airtight container.
The slightly less simple option, coincidentally also the more effective option, is to place them in a jar like they are flowers. Trim the bottoms if you must to make them fit and fill the water 3/4 of the way. You can wrap this jar in plastic wrap and change the water every 4 days. This will keep them fresh for a couple of weeks at least.
Using Green Onions
It is easy to store green onions and to use them in many dishes. They are either a brilliant garnish or can bring a mild onion flavor to any dish of your choice. They make stir-fries so amazing and can also be mixed in with fried rice to add some flavor. Their versatility is amazing and they need to be tried by everyone so that they can see how truly brilliant green onions are. Green onions are also an amazing addition to any diet such as vegetarian, vegan, or keto.