Spring onions spring from the ground — somewhere — year-round. They offer a taste of fresh, of heat, of green, even in the months of stale, cold and white.
We slice them long into nested troughs. We cut them crosswise into pale crescents. We inhale and squint; it’s not the weepy drama of the mature onion, but the sharp sting of youth.
We pile the curls into a big green mound. This is no garnish, no sprinkle, no condiment. Here onion stars. Tossed with a spicy heap of ginger, a shot of vinegar and a shake of salt, the sauce flashes fresh and hot on the palate.
Spooned over noodles it’s a bowlful of bright. Just the thing to savor inside, when outside drifts drab and white.
Ginger Scallion Noodles
Recipe adapted from “Momofuku” by David Chang and Peter Meehan.
6 ounces ramen noodles (or lo mein, rice noodles or Shanghai thick noodles)
6 tablespoons ginger scallion sauce (recipe follows)
1/4 cup of any/all/none of the following: sliced bamboo shoots, quick-pickled cucumbers, roasted cauliflower or any other vegetables you have on hand
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Stir in noodles. Cook until tender. Drain. Heap drained noodles in a bowl. Spoon on ginger scallion sauce. Add a heap or two of vegetables, if you like. Serve.
Ginger scallion sauce: Toss together 2 1/2 cups thinly sliced scallions (white and green from 2 bunches), 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh ginger, 1/4 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons light soy sauce, 3/4 teaspoon sherry vinegar and 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Let rest 15 minutes. Toss again. Makes 1 1/2 cups. Keeps nicely in the fridge, ready for noodle duty.
Yield: 2 to 4 servings