What You Should Know Before Trying The TikTok Spring Onion Hack

While they might initially seem small and insignificant, spring onions are one of those ingredients with the potential to completely transform a dish. Not to be confused with scallions, and sometimes used interchangeably with the term "green onions," spring onions are commonly used across a wide variety of Asian, American, and European cuisines. 

According to GardenPals, interest in gardening has soared over the past few years, with 35% of U.S. households now growing their own food. Naturally, many people are sharing tips about it on TikTok. In one viral video, which has over 1.6 million likes, user @i.cathie shows viewers how to regrow spring onions from the ends of an old bunch. She submerges the old spring onions in a glass of water, and over the next seven days charts their progress as they begin to shoot up. It seems easy enough — but commenters have been keen to flag a key issue. Anyone trying the hack at home should make sure to change the water regularly, to guarantee that their spring onions have the best quality, texture, and most importantly, are safe to eat.

Why should you change the water?

As one person commented on the popular TikTok, "You've got to change that water a lot tho or it smells like horror." They weren't the only one: "Make sure you're replacing the water every other day so it doesn't get slimy or stinky," someone else advised. Food safety experts agree, and have cautioned that regularly changing the water is a crucial part of the onion-regrowing process, not only to avoid unpleasant smells and textures, but also to ward off any bacteria that could grow alongside the onions.


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"It's essential to replace [your spring onion water] with clean water every day to prevent the growth of any harmful bacteria," senior Recipe Development Manager at HelloFresh, Mimi Morley, told Herald Scotland. "Not only is this safer, but this means the water contains the right nutrients for the spring onion which helps with growth and stops them from producing that unappetising, slimy texture."

Morley also provided further suggestions on how to make the most out of the hack. "I'd also recommend cutting down even further towards the root before replanting," she says. "This is arguably the strongest and tastiest bit of the plant which you'll want to include in your cooking!" You can also replant green onions in soil and grow them over the winter by moving them to a plant pot or directly into garden soil. By spring, you will have a fresh batch without having to worry about any slimy water.