Green onions, also known as scallions or spring onions, are a staple in numerous culinary dishes worldwide. These alliums are harvested young, possessing a milder taste compared to fully-grown bulb onions. Green onions are made up of a white base with slender green leaves extending above, both of which are edible and used as seasoning or garnish in various dishes.
Not only do green onions add a vibrant pop of color to a dish, but they also provide a subtly sharp and fresh flavor. Often used raw in salads, soups, and Asian cuisine, they can also be cooked in stir-fries or as an ingredient in omelets, adding depth to a meal's taste profile.
While green onions are relatively straightforward to use, misconceptions and confusion can arise. A common misunderstanding is that the white base and green tops are used for different purposes. Actually, both parts can be used in cooking, though the white has a stronger flavor and is ideal for cooking, while the green is milder and perfect for garnishes. Overcooking is another mistake people often make, it tends to make their taste bitter, it's better to add them towards the end of cooking to retain their flavor.
To get the most out of green onions, consider regrowing them. You can place the root end in a glass of water, they regrow rapidly offering a fresh supply. Don't discard the top green parts as they add a bright, sweet flavor in various dishes. Sautéing green onions is another great way to bring out their sweet, complex flavors reminiscent of caramelized onions.
When it comes to selecting green onions, look for ones with fresh, bright green tops and a firm white base. As for a little-known tip, you can chop and freeze green onions to prolong their usefulness, then just toss them into your dish straight from the freezer, no thawing required!
Can I use the whole green onion?
What can I substitute for green onions?
Does cooking green onions make them less flavorful?
Is it preferable to use green onions raw or cooked?
Do green onions and chives taste the same?
What are the health benefits of green onions?
What's the difference between green onions and scallions?
How to regrow green onions?
How to freeze green onions?
How to select good green onions?
Expiration & Storage Tips
When does green onion expire?
Unopened, green onions usually stay fresh for about 1 to 2 weeks in the fridge. However, once chopped or cut, they may last for about a week if correctly stored. When frozen, green onions’ lifespan extends up to 10-12 months! However, keep in mind that freezing can change their texture.
How do you tell if green onion is bad?
If your green onions have lost their firmness, have a slimy texture, or start showing signs of mold especially around the bulbous white part, it's time to toss them out. An off smell is also a definite sign they are already spoiled.
Tips for storing green onion to extend shelf life
• Keep the green onions in a produce bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge. This helps to maintain their freshness.
• If you've chopped more green onions than you need, you can store the leftovers in a resealable bag and freeze them. Just remember that their texture will change, but they will still be great for cooked dishes!
• Another method is to place the green onion roots in a jar of water and leave them at room temperature. This can keep them fresh for quite some time. Plus, they might start to grow back!