Those of you who know me IRL likely know that I am half Chinese.
I have been hesitant to post more Chinese recipes, because A) my grandmother (the master) cooks based on instinct alone – making it challenging to pin down and transcribe precise measurements, and B) I want to do right by my heritage.
Which is why, other than my Hoisin Ginger Rainbow Carrot Salad (which, FYI, isn’t traditional Chinese food), I haven’t really posted any Chinese recipes. However, I’m changing that with this Chinese Ginger Scallion Sauce – likely one of the most straightforward yet delectable sauces I have come to adore in Chinese cuisine.
Now, every year, my family goes to the Chinese cemetery to perform a traditional ritual. This ritual involves pouring gin over family members’ graves and burning incense and (fake) paper money as an offering to ensure prosperity for our deceased relatives in the afterlife. After the ritual is complete, we all enjoy a picnic. For many years, this involved eating in the car as quickly as possible (because, for some reason, it would always be raining on this day). Lately, though, we’ve enjoyed sunny weather, perfect for standing around eating.
One of my favourite parts of this picnic is the chicken. I’m pretty sure the actual chicken is just straight up boiled, and on its own, doesn’t hold a whole ton of flavour. What makes the chicken incredible is the ginger scallion sauce served with it. You’re at liberty to smother the chicken in the sauce or, since it is quite potent, put a little on your paper plate and – in a formidable balancing act – dip it. Either way, the otherwise plain chicken gets drop kicked into (pardon the Guy Fieri term) Flavortown – all thanks to this ginger scallion sauce.
What’s really cool is that you don’t realize how easy it is to achieve this balanced, slightly spicy sauce until you actually make it. It’s just four basic ingredients, and takes under 10 minutes! And once it’s done, you can serve it with virtually anything!
A few delicious uses for this sauce include:
- With chicken or fish
- On top of scrambled eggs
- With steamed veggies (such as broccoli)
- As a base or component of stir fry
- As a base for a salad dressing
But you can really get creative! The beauty of this sauce is in its simplicity. Its rounded flavour profile means it can really up the ante on any regular dish and really kick it up several notches. Go ahead – try it out!
A Hint From Faith: Rather than heat the oil up with the ginger and scallions, I warm the oil and pour it over them to ensure they “cook” more gently and preserve their bright, punchy flavour.
- ¾ cup light oil (like vegetable or canola)
- 2 tbsp. minced ginger
- 4 scallions, finely chopped
- 1 tsp. salt
- Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat until it starts to bubble loudly, around 5 minutes
- Combine the ginger, scallions, and salt in a small bowl
- When the oil is hot, remove it from the heat and pour over the ginger and scallions
- Give it a quick stir to combine, and serve!