Chinese Scallion Oil Recipe

Chinese scallion oil in a clear jar with lid

Chinese scallion oil is one of the ‘mother sauces’ of Chinese cuisine, and incredibly easy to make with fresh green onions and vegetable oil. The oil has a fragrant, light onion flavor you’re going to want with everything from stir frys to scrambled eggs.

Chinese scallion oil in jar

Chinese scallion oil is an easy 2 ingredient recipe

Scallions are as ubiquitous in the Chinese kitchen as garlic and ginger, and this easy spring onion infused oil is a staple in Chinese cooking. It takes just a few minutes to make on your stove. Stash this jar right next to your Homemade Chili Oil in your fridge for all kinds of authentic quickie meals like the famously delicious and easy Shanghai scallion oil noodles. You’ll also use it to stir fry, or mix it into sauces and dressings…why not scramble your eggs in it? It also serves as a fragrant ‘finishing’ oil to drizzle over dishes just before serving.

what is scallion oil?

It’s really just an infused oil, made by simmering scallions in a pot with a neutral vegetable oil until they start to go golden and toasty. The oil is then strained.

slicing scallions for scallion oil

ingredients for scallion oil

THE OIL ~ I used a toasted canola (rapeseed) oil. It’s got a golden hue and has a nutty aroma and is the preferred oil in Sichuan cuisine. You can also use regular canola, peanut, grapeseed, soybean, or other neutral vegetable oil of your choice. I don’t recommend extra virgin olive oil because the flavor will overpower, but you could use one of the super mild olive oils on the market, if you like.

THE SCALLIONS ~ aka green onions or spring onions, the freshest you can find. Look for smaller sized scallions with bright green, firm greens.

simmering scallions in oil

simple process for making scallion oil

  1. Wash, trim, and dry scallions. Slice into 3 inch pieces. I like to slice some of the sections lengthwise, just to expose more surface area.
  2. Put the scallions and oil into a pot and simmer over low heat for about 10-15 minutes, until the scallions start to turn toasted and golden.
  3. Let the oil cool, then strain and bottle.
  4. Don’t throw away the toasted scallions, use them to top a bowl of freshly made noodles that you’ve tossed with some of your scallion oil.
Chinese scallion oil noodles in a bowl

variations for scallion oil

I like to add fresh scallions to the jar with my oil for a little extra flavor. The oil will not last as long with the fresh scallions, so plan on using it up with a week or two.

You can add other aromatic ingredients to your oil while it simmers, such as shallot, ginger, or Sichuan peppercorns. I don’t recommend garlic because it can burn and make your oil bitter.

Another variation I love is a blended scallion oil. For this you simple take the cooled oil, with the scallions, and blend in a blender, then strain. The flavor is outrageous!

Chinese scallion oil in a jar

what to do with your Chinese scallion oil

Now you’ve got your beautiful fragrant oil in the fridge, what to do with it?

Definitely use it to make salad dressings, you’ll get bonus flavor there. Try it in my Crunchy Chinese Coleslaw or my Japanese Cucumber Salad (Sunomono). Use it in place of the sesame oil in my Chinese Chicken Salad.

Use it to stir fry anything from simple baby bok choy to Easy Vegetable Chow Mein or Spicy Tangerine Chicken with Black Rice.

Use it in all kinds of sauces from Dan Dan Noodles to Weeknight Mapo Tofu.

Scallion oil is great for non Asian uses, too. use it to scramble or fry eggs, in dressings for bean salads, pasta salads, etc.

Why not use it as a simple bread dip?

Or drizzle it over roasted veggies, grilled chicken, steak, shrimp, or fish.

filling jar with scallion oil
Chinese scallion oil in a clear jar with lid
Print
5 from 4 votes

Chinese Scallion Oil recipe

Chinese scallion oil is one of the 'mother sauces' of Chinese cuisine, and incredibly easy to make with fresh green onions and vegetable oil. The oil has a fragrant, light onion flavor you're going to want with everything from stir frys to scrambled eggs.
Course condiment
Cuisine Chinese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 1.5 cups
Calories 167kcal
Author Sue Moran

Ingredients

  • 12 scallions or about 2 bunches
  • 2 cups neutral vegetable oil such as canola, sunflower, soybean, or peanut. If you can get your hands on roasted canola oil, that's what I used. I bought my roasted canola oil here.

Instructions

  • Trim the scallions and cut into 3 inch pieces.
  • Put the oil and the scallions into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Once the oil is bubbling, continue cooking over very low heat for about 15 minutes, just until the scallions start to turn golden. Don't cook too far or they will become bitter.
  • Let the oil cool completely off the heat, and then strain into a clean jar. You can add a few fresh scallions to the jar, if you like.
  • Refrigerate and use within 3 weeks if just the oil. If you added fresh scallions to the jar, use within 1 week.

blended variation

  • After the oil has cooled completely in step 4, you can blend the oil with the scallions. Strain, and bottle as above. Refrigerate and use within 1 week.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Tbsp | Calories: 167kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 17mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 60IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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4 Comments

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  • Reply
    Deb
    May 2, 2022 at 9:37 am

    5 stars
    I just made this it is sooooo good but next time I’m adding more scallions I was eating them as I was straining I did add a few sichzchan peppercorns

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      May 2, 2022 at 10:19 am

      Yay Deb, thanks for the report!

  • Reply
    Kim C
    May 2, 2022 at 7:13 am

    5 stars
    Sounds amazing! I have a bunch of scallions – I’m making this today! ? I’m giving it five stars in advance, because how could you go wrong with a recipe like this?! Excited about the toasted scallion tops for my salad this evening, too!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      May 2, 2022 at 8:43 am

      The only thing that can go wrong is if you fry the scallions for too long, because they can impart a bitter flavor to the oil, so don’t let them burn.

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