Spring onions are one of my useful ingredients. Milder than their white and red relatives, they can be used raw or cooked, and are nice and cheap - I’ve usually got a bunch stashed in the fridge. As it is now supposed to be spring/summer (apart from the rain), I thought it would be apt to pen a post to the humble spring onion.
I use them a lot in Asian food, but they are also great in salads and anything Mexican – they are a handy background ingredient, or star of the dish. My top 3 ways to use this ingredient are a combination of the two, from Korean pancakes, salsa and squidgy little sweet potato cakes.
1 – Spring onion & prawn Korean pancake
This is one of my favourite dishes of the past year. I first tried it at the great little local Korean restaurant near my office, and have been having a go at making at home. I’m pretty pleased with my version (not sure on the authenticity), and is great shared between two as a starter, or a whole one for a greedier person/main course.
4 spring onions, cut into 1 cm slices
1 red chilli, chopped
100g de-shelled, de-veined cooked prawns
80g plain flour
120 ml water
Handful coriander, chopped
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Chinese rice vinegar
Few drops sesame oil
1 finely chopped green chill
1 tsp sesame seeds
- Just mix all the batter ingredients together, before pouring into a medium-hot pan with 1 teaspoon flavourless oil
- Fry for around 6 minutes on that side before flipping (it’s easiest with a plate), and cooking on the other side until golden
- Cut in half and then cut into chunky slices, served with the dipping sauce
2 – Sweet Potato & Spring Onion Cakes
One of my most repeated recipes from Ottolenghi’s Plenty book is his sweet potato cakes. I’ve upped the quantity of spring onions in the recipe – I use a whole bunch chopped, mixture with steamed and mashed sweet potatoes, a little chilli, soy sauce and flour. Just shape into patties and fry.
3 – Charred corn & spring onion salsa
This salsa is crunchy, tangy and spicy. Just lightly blacken a couple of sweetcorn cobs on a grill or griddle pan, before cutting off the kernels and mixing with a bunch of finely chopped spring onions. Mix in a little olive oil, juice of a lemon or couple of limes, a freshly chopped chilli and coriander. This is a great salsa with tortilla chips and guacamole, or piled on top a smoky bean stew and rice.