When I am stressed or blue or just plain tired, I turn to the smallish jar I keep in my fridge of ginger scallion …sauce…condiment…elixir…potion… whose roots lie with Uber Chef David Chang. I’m not sure what to call it. It’s a wet hash, really, of thinly sliced ginger and scallions mellowed by roasted sesame oil and soy sauce. Well, my version is anyway.

I’ll boil up some rice or noodles and mix in dollops of the stuff to taste, sometimes along with an egg. That is dinner: deeply sustaining and comforting. (It’s also great alongside just about any meat or fish…)

I started taking liberties with Chang’s recipe after I made it the first time and fell in the love with the idea and effect but not with the time-consuming slicing of scallions, nor the exact balance of flavors.

As I do with many recipes, I took the gist and translated it into a basic formula I can make with whatever amounts I want or have time for. My freeform formula and Chang’s original recipe are below: a good example of the deconstruction/personalization of a recipe.

As Chang says:

If you have ginger scallion sauce in the fridge, you will never go hungry


Freeform, A La Minute Ginger Scallion Sauce

Figure about 4 to 1 scallions to ginger, and play the rest by ear.

Chopping the scallions in a food processor gives a too-sharp, somewhat acrid flavor. Best to slice them by hand really thinly or using a Benriner mandoline.

Thinly sliced scallion, green and white

Finely minced peeled fresh ginger

Light soy sauce or shoyu

Roasted Sesame Oil

Kosher salt

Sherry vinegar

Combine 4 parts scallions to 1 part ginger in a small bowl or jar. Drizzle in soy sauce, sesame oil and salt to taste; add a few drops of vinegar to lift the flavors. Let sit 15 minutes before using. Cover and refrigerate. In my experience, it lasts several weeks.


David Chang’s Ginger Scallion Sauce

12 cups thinly sliced scallions (greens and whites; from 1 to 2 large bunches)
12 cup finely minced peeled fresh ginger
14 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
12 tsp. usukuchi (light soy sauce)
34 tsp. sherry vinegar
34 tsp. kosher salt, or more to taste
Mix together the scallions, ginger, oil, soy, vinegar, and salt in a bowl. Taste and check for salt, adding more if needed. Though it’s best after 15 or 20 minutes of sitting, ginger scallion sauce is good from the minute it’s stirred together up to a day or two in the fridge. Use as directed, or apply as needed.
Top image via Honeysuckle Catering.

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6 replies on “Emergency Ginger Scallion Sauce for Everything

  1. Great one, Sally — your freeform riff on ginger scallion sauce. Thanks, Julie (Houston)

  2. Are these proportions right? I see the recipe written the same elsewhere as well, but the result is some very lightly dressed green onion and ginger. Another online version has a full cup of oil that is heated to almost smoking, poured over the onions and ginger, then measurements in the tablespoons for the light soy and vinegar.

  3. Did you try either my method of Chang’s original recipe? The ginger and scallion are dressed enough to have a catalyzing effect on them. The oil, vinegar, salt and soy sauce wilts and slightly cures the ginger and scallions (and protects the scallions from becoming acrid). The effect is a flavoring with a condiment/chutney texture that you can dollop on in large quantities.

  4. Hi Sally,
    I started with Chan’s version, went bolder with your suggestion to play it by ear, but no significant softening happened. Ultimately, I went with heating quite a bit more oil to really hot, tossed it over the onions and ginger, then followed my taste buds, adding about 3 T of Shoyu and 2-3tsp of vinegar. Came out really well.

  5. I love that you just went with your instincts to find a different path. That said, I’ve thrown that hash together many times to keep in the fridge…

  6. It’s sure a keeper, no matter how you do it! Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

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