10 Green Onion Hacks Everyone Should Try

Whether you call them green onions, scallions, or spring onions, there's no denying this particular vegetable is wildly versatile. Grown year-round, green onions are young onions that have been harvested either before or early on in the bulb stage. Thanks to the mild taste, green onions are good raw or cooked. And yes, there are plenty of fun green onion foodie hacks to try.

Now, no matter which food hack you choose to give a shot, it is always important to make sure the onions you are going to use are neither too dried up nor too slimy. Oh, and if you don't happen to have any scallions at your disposal? BBC Good Food suggests using shallots in place of green onions

Ready to get into some of the cool things you can do with green onions? Sharpen your knife and ready your appetite, because you are going to want to give these green onion hacks a whirl. 

Grow your own green onions

You know how some hacks can seem great, but then you realise you need some special ingredients or equipment? Well, that certainly isn't the case when it comes to growing your own green onions. As Allrecipes maps out, all you need is some green onions, some water, and a jar. Yes, it's that simple. Cut your scallions so that the bulb and root are together, detached from the rest of the onion. Put this root end in water in a jar so that the roots are under water but not the whole cut part. Place on a windowsill, change the water weekly, and watch as the onion roots sprout upward.

Once the shoots are around five inches long, it's time to relocate, whether it be in a bigger pot or actually outside in a garden, and trim the plant accordingly. While your green onion may lay dormant in the winter, it should start growing in the warmer months. Not only will you not have to buy green onions (other than your starter green onions, that is), but you won't have any go to waste. And hey, growing your own is pretty impressive, too. When BuzzFeed tested this hack, the shoots, which were left for seven days, started to grow at the end of day one. 

Make curls and brushes as garnish

Spring onions are not only delicious in recipes, they make a wonderful edible garnish and can be fashioned into some attractive designs. The easiest is to make simple green onion curls. As Something New for Dinner recommends, cut the green part of your scallion into thin strips around four inches long, and then let them curl up in ice water for about an hour. Once they are curled and dried off, put them on top of steak, soup, pizza, potatoes — whatever floats your green onion-loving boat. 

Something New for Dinner also suggests creating "brushes" by slicing strips into green onions, being sure to keep an inch or so of white base intact; the bulb end of the onion holds the "bristles" together. Again, put your green onion brush in iced water so that the ends curl. You can serve as is or grill your brushes if you prefer. According to Jamie Oliver, soaking the onions in water makes the flavor less intense and enhances the crunch. 

A simple scallion pancake hack

Chinese-style scallion pancakes are a takeout staple. Made with flour and water, getting the right texture and letting the dough rest takes time and patience if you're going to make them at home. However, if you don't want the fuss, there's a quicker way to whip up this sublime green onion recipe.

Per a cooking hack from Meet and Eats, wonton wrappers can be used in place of the dough. You start by putting oil, salt, and green onions on a flattened wonton wrapper. Then, stack another wonton wrapper on top, and add more oil, salt, and green onions. Repeat this series as many times as you want before topping the whole thing off with one final wonton wrapper and cooking it in an oiled pan. Okonomi Kitchen offers another strategy: Roll the scallions and salt up into oiled dumpling wrappers and give the spirals a fry.

Try Acadian salted green onions

Acadian cuisine is connected to the French heritage of Canada. As well as having its own culinary history, it's also got its own style and flavor. In general, Acadian cooking is simple, and challenges to survive led to their own unique recipes. Per Acadian.org, these recipes were often taken from French tradition and when the first settlers arrived, made from the agricultural produce they brought from France.

Some of the best recipe ideas are also some of the simplest, and it does not get more simple or straightforward than Acadian salted green onions from Yarmouth Acadian Shores. Indicative of the resourcefulness of the rural Acadians and their Canadian French history, this recipe is all about preserving ingredients. To make, first chop scallions and throw away the root. In a bowl, mix the chopped green onions with large grained Kosher salt, coating them. Then add some more salt and toss the onions in the bowl so they're thoroughly covered. Leave overnight before adding yet more salt. Once you've put your salted onions into mason jars you're done and can enjoy your preserved spring onions whenever you like. 

Prepare a jar of quick pickled scallions

Have you ever made pickles? If so, you'll know that getting to that crunchy and vinegary goodness is a relatively involved process. If you want to cut out some of the effort and avoid pre-soaking, then why not make some quick pickled green onions instead? Art of Natural Living's recipe is ideal if you've got enough onions left over for a jar or two, as you'll need to store them in the refrigerator and use them more quickly.

First, assemble a simple brine — white distilled vinegar, water, sugar, and salt — and bring it to a boil. Then, put green onions in a jar before adding in some garlic and dried dill to give it a little boost. When the onion jar is good to go, pour the brine over top, shut the lid, and let it chill out in the refrigerator for a few days. If you aren't feeling the garlic and dill, there's a Cathy Barrow recipe (via AllRecipes) that calls for celery seed, peppercorn, mustard seed, and allspice berries instead. 

Once the pickled green onions are ready, you can use them to add some bite to pulled pork, a stir-fry, or even scrambled eggs.

Season your wok with green onions

As anyone who has used a wok knows, you can create layers of flavors that only build the more you use the pan. But before you can get to the fun cooking part, there's the pan preparation part. First, it's important to clean the wok by either scrubbing or using dry heat. Then, it's time to season it.  As Viet World Kitchen advises, you can do this by baking your wok, frying potato peel and salt, or — you guessed it— using green onions. 

Cut a bunch of green onions so that the slices are around a couple of inches long. Get your dry wok really hot to begin with. Add in a couple of tablespoons of oil, along with half a cup of unpeeled and sliced ginger and your onions. As for how to find the right heat level? Food52 has a hot tip: "If oil smokes wildly, your wok is too hot. When you add the scallions and ginger and there's no sizzle, there's not enough heat." After you've fried the onions and ginger for around 15-20 minutes and pressed them into every part of the surface of the wok, let the wok cool off. Then, after you've gotten rid of the ginger and onion debris, give your seasoned wok a rinse. It's now ready for you to create whatever wok recipes you want, whether they include spring onions or not.

Make charred spring onion toast

When you think of green onions, you likely imagine a salad or a dish like Cantonese crispy duck pancakes. You may be used to using scallions in a stir-fry and eating them cooked too, or perhaps you prefer them as a crunchy garnish. In any case, they're rarely the main star ingredient, but there's no reason why they can't be. Yummy Mummy Kitchen inspires with a simple yet different recipe is charred spring onion on toast.

Cut the roots of your spring onions off as well as a few inches from the other end. Cut in half lengthways, and char grill or roast them on a medium heat after brushing with olive oil. Use a skillet to sear the onions on each side, sprinkling sea salt on them, and charring the cut side first. Yummy Mummy Kitchen recommends putting the grilled onions on top of slices of crusty, lightly toasted bread and hummus, and then finishing it off with basil. Of course, you can play around and use your imagination, combining different toppings and ingredients, keeping your wonderfully browned scallions as the highlight.

Brew ginger and scallion for a cold relief tea

Be it a winter cold or a summer fever, it's never fun to have a runny nose, fuzzy head, or achy joints. A hot drink that can help relieve these unpleasant symptoms in any way is a must as you recover, while also being incredibly soothing while you feel under the weather. Classic drinks include honey and lemon, but have you thought about using green onions?

The Traditional Chinese Medicine World Foundation offers a "traditional healing tea" recipe which is made from the white part of green onions, minced ginger, and, of course, water. Throw the chopped up onion bits and the ginger into the water, bring the concoction to a boil, and then add some honey. (Food's recipe for scallion and ginger tea also calls for salt and suggests using maple syrup in lieu of honey.) Once it's ready to drink, let the aroma of the ginger and onions clear your system while you recover.

Clean and cut your green onions in the right way

There's more than one way to cut a green onion and, but before you do, make sure you clean and prep them correctly. Per Delish, the first step is to rinse your scallions and remove any outer parts that look less than fresh. Next, you'll want to remove the root. For the actual chopping step, gather the green onions together on the cutting board and then rock your knife through the vegetables. (To "rock" your knife, cut through down and back without ever lifting the tip of the knife off of the board.) Now, if you are trying to create diagonal slices, simply move your knife at an angle and cut in the same way. And in order to make thinly sliced strips, divide a spring onion into thirds lengthwise, then slice each of those thirds down the middle.

The slicing technique is key. As Kitchen Ambition notes, by rocking your knife through the bunch, you'll avoid totally smashing the onions.

Chop and freeze to store for months

With so many green onion recipes to choose from, both hot and cold, you'll probably never waste your scallions again. But just in case you do find yourself in a situation where you've got some extra spring onions and no game plan, there is a way to store them for future use. As First For Women noted, TikTok user @wndy_1229 shared a hack that will keep your onions for longer than simply leaving them in the refrigerator. 

This tip couldn't be more straightforward. Create a funnel out of parchment paper and use it to pour chopped green onions into a clean container of your choosing. Seal it up, stick it in the freezer, and store it for up to six months. (If you're worried about the onions clumping together and becoming one big scallion blob as the chill starts to set in, Evolving Table recommends giving the container a good shake after it's been in the freezer for two hours.) When you're ready to use, pull the jar out of the freezer, pop open the top, and let the onions rain down.