You can’t really expect to cut onions the same way you cut potatoes or tomatoes, or any other vegetable for that matter. Cutting vegetables isn’t just about dicing them into equal pieces.
The way you cut vegetables is said to impact their taste. Got your attention, didn’t it? The texture of the vegetable contributes to the aroma, flavor, and taste. Today, I’ll take you with me on the journey of learning how to cut green onions, a staple vegetable.
What Are Green Onions?
Green onions are the unripe version of regular onions. You can even say, they’re immature onions. Also called scallions, they have a much milder taste than most onions. What sets them apart? The lack of a fully developed bulb. Pair it with long green stalks or leaves growing from the bulb and you have the essential ingredient in most Asian, American, and European Cuisines.
These leaves are used as a garnish, much like how we use garlic and onion to spice up the flavor of the dish and give it a little pop color. They’re eaten raw or cooked quickly, like a stir fry.
Health Benefits of Green Onions
Green Onions are much more than just a garnish or an ingredient to spice up your food bowl. Both the bulb and the stalk are staples found in most dishes and can be eaten both cooked and raw.
After knowing the power it packs in terms of health benefits, you’ll find yourself increasing your green onion intake. Here are 5 reasons why you should increase your consumption of green onions.
#1. Reduces Obesity and Aids in Digestion
More power to green onions! The many antioxidants and bioactive compounds found in onions help battle obesity and all the other diseases that usually accompany it.
The presence of sulfur compounds in spring onions increases the body’s ability to produce insulin, thus helping prevent diabetes. Often accompanied with appetizers, spring onions are rich in fiber and can aid in digestion.
#2. Reduces Risk of Cancer
Green onions, much like garlic and chives, contain compounds that protect the body against cancer and fight enzymes that produce cancer cells. Though there isn’t much research supporting this, the health benefits are clear for all to see.
Rich in sulfur, green onions are quite beneficial for a person’s overall health. People who consume this vegetable frequently are better protected against risks for myeloma, lung, and prostate cancer, among other types.
#3. Fights Against Infections
Loaded with vitamins A and C, spring onions strengthen the immune system. Lab tests attest to spring onions killing or slowing down the growth of E. Coli if used in high concentrations. Spring onions also have antiviral and antibacterial properties, both of which help fight the flu, cold, and other viral infections and diseases.
#4. Good for the Eye
Spring onions are rich in vitamin A, which prevents and slows down the loss of eyesight. They also have carotenoids, a pigment that acts as an antioxidant that keeps the vision healthy. Throw it in with your regular salad and watch how it spices up the taste and levels up the benefits.
#5. Lowers the Risk of Heart Diseases
Packed with fiber, green onions don’t just contribute towards keeping your food palate moderately full but also work actively towards lowering your cholesterol levels, thus helping reduce your chances of getting heart attacks and other heart diseases.
The antioxidants present in green onions also fight free radicals and contribute to reducing the risk of heart diseases.
What Equipment Do You Need to Cut Green Onions?
· Knife and Knife Sharpener
To cut any vegetable or fruit, you require a good, sharp knife. Green onions are no exception. Invest in a good chefs’ knife that will last you years and make the cutting process so much easier, saving you time and energy. Knives tend to get blunt from regular use, so make sure you have a handy knife sharpener around.
· Cutting Board
You will also need a non-slip cutting board. Of course, the type of cutting board you use depends on your preferences. Any wooden, plastic, or bamboo cutting board will get the job done. I would personally recommend using a Boos Block, the one generally used by Gordon Ramsay.
Steps for Cutting Green Onions
Now that you’re familiar with what equipment you’ll need to cut green onions, let’s get down to business. Here’s how you should cut green onions.
#1. Wash as much dirt, leftover pesticides, and fertilizers as possible off the green onions.
#2. Remove the white film/layer from the edges of the bulb.
#3. Bunch the green onions together and starting at the bulb, cut the ends off. Flip it over to the other side and cut the uneven ends of the green stalks.
#4. Now that you’ve squared it up, you can proceed to cut the green onions in the dimension you’re aiming for. The sizing and cutting may differ for different dishes. You may choose to cut the white bulbous end of the green onion slightly larger than the green stalks as it’s mostly used for sauteing or cooking. Depending on what you intend to use it for, slice the green stalks as thin as you need.
#5. Use proper knife skills. Cutting the vegetable properly is important but your safety is more important than that. Make sure you grip the knife properly. Keep your fingers away from the blade. Wrapping them around the handle will give you more control and a better grip. When holding the green onions, make sure to keep your fingers back to avoid any injuries.
Different Ways of Cutting Green Onions
The great thing about cutting is, it can be manipulated to complement every dish. How’s that for options? You may choose to cut green onions in the 3 different ways mentioned below:
Also called Julienne, this technique involves cutting vegetables with a knife or a slicer into thin, long strips. This adds texture to the dish and facilitates even cooking. It’s mostly used in salads or garnishes.
Here’s a step-by-step guide for cutting the green onions lengthwise:
#1. Bunch the green onions together and cut them into 1/3rd pieces.
#2. Cut the green onions from the middle lengthwise. Cutting them into halves will give them a flat side.
#3. Place the pieces with the flat side down and cut them lengthwise into thin slices or slivers.
#4. Keep the knife parallel to the green onions. Experiment with sizes until you find the right fit.
· Cut on the Bias
Also called 45-degree bias cuts, this technique is focused more on adding decoration to the dish. It’s perfect for noodles, skillet meals, and stir-fry dishes.
Here’s a step-by-step guide for cutting the green onions in a 45-degree bias-cut:
#1. Separate the white and the green parts of the green onions.
#2. Holding the green stalks on the board, make sure to point your fingertips inward and place the knife at a 45-degree angle.
#3. Using a rocking motion, move the stalks towards the knife.
#4. Maintain the same angle when thinly slicing the green onions.
· Cut into Rounds
The most popular of the 3 techniques, cutting the green onions into rounds gives small or long circles or rings, depending on the size you aimed for. It’s typically used in soups and in fried or sauteed foods and is called “tiny coins”.
Here’s a step-by-step guide for cutting green onions into rounds:
#1. Properly wash and remove the uppermost layer/film from the green onions
#2. Line them horizontally.
#3. Cut slices of the required size by keeping the knife movement perpendicular to the green onions.
#4. When making the cuts, remember to use circular motions. Make sure you don’t press the green onions down as it will crush them.
How to Cut Green Onions For Different Recipes?
There are a lot of ways you can use to cut green onions. It all depends on the dish you’re preparing.
#1. To give the dish a finishing touch, use thinly sliced raw green onions. This will add flavor, texture, and give the dish a pop of color. This cut is best used with soups, dips, and omelets. You can also add them as a topping to scrambled eggs.
#2. For crabs, seafood, and meat dishes, cut the green onions lengthwise. Not bigger than 1–1.5 inches. Green onions tend to cook quickly, so make sure you add them at the very end.
#3. Chop the green onions finely until they’re minced and add them to your salad. The mild flavor will be a good substitute for the pungent white onion and chives.
#4. Cut the green stems into 3–4 inch-long pieces and throw them in a vegetable tray alongside cucumbers, carrots, and celery.
Tips on How to Cut Green Onions
#1. Trim the top and bottom end and remove the outermost layer.
#2. Rinse the green onions and pat them dry with a paper towel.
#3. Use your dominant hand to hold the knife and the non-dominant hand to hold the bunch of green onions.
#4. Practice good knife etiquette. Your fingers should always be away from the blade.
A Few Parting Words
The best thing? Green onions are not seasonal. They’re available all year round. Every part of green onion is edible and can be eaten in a variety of ways. That’s a choice you have to make according to your eating habits and preferences.
So, now that you’ve learned how to cut green onions to enhance their flavor and with so many robust health benefits evident to us, there’s no reason to skip out on this delicious veggie!