Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Ginger-Garlic-Spring Onion Miracle Sauce


With the wonderful variety of tender salad leaves, exciting wild greens, and coveted spears of asparagus taking over our menus now that it's spring, the spring onion seems kind of dull in comparison to the rest of what this season has to offer. Sure, we do use it, but more like an afterthought, the obligatory sprinkle of greenery at the end of a dish if we happen to be cooking asian. When I was little, I used to very carefully scoop out all those "irritating green bits" floating in my soup or tangled in my noodles, grumbling.

The world works in a funny way. I'm actually making a sauce pretty much simply out of spring onions, and willingly, in fact liberally, tossing it into my noodles. A miracle. And I'm actually loving it. It really is a miracle sauce. Stupidly simple to make, with nothing more than the holy trinity of chinese cooking-- ginger, garlic, and spring onions of course. I came across this idea when I read about the infamous momofuku ginger scallion sauce. Instead of just steeping the chopped spring onions in oil, I simmered them in the oil just ever so briefly, but that few seconds of heat mellows the sharp bite of spring onions, bringing out their natural sweetness, and at the same time, it releases the wonderful aroma of the garlic and ginger.


GINGER GARLIC SPRING ONION SAUCE
Ingredients
1 large bunch of spring onions
4 tbsp of minced ginger
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp good soy sauce (naturally fermented)
1/2 tsp rice vinegar
dash of toasted sesame oil
4 tbsp groundnut oil*
unrefined sea salt, to taste

To serve
a bundle of fresh egg noodles**

Method
1. Heat the groundnut oil over a medium-high heat till shimmering, not smoking.
2. Add the garlic and ginger, and once they give off their aroma, add the spring onions and straight away remove from the heat. You'll see the spring onions wilt instantly and turn a brighter green.
3. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. That's it! To serve, blanch fresh egg noodles or pasta in salted boiling water till just cooked, drain, and toss with the sauce.


It's the simplest of ingredients, and the barest of cooking, but by some sort of miracle, this transformed into a sauce that was simply addictive. Noodles, tossed simply in this flavoursome, fragrant sauce, was good enough to eat alone. Reminded me slightly of the Singaporean samsui chicken sauce, and indeed I can imagine dipping Hainanese-style poached chicken in it. I advise you double the ingredients, this keeps for a week in the fridge and you'll finish it fast.

*You need a neutral oil that's not toxic and processed i.e. most vegetable oils. I usually go for saturated fats in cooking, lard from a happy pig would be yummy here, but admittedly less neutral, and well, less liquid.

*I used fresh handmade spelt tagliolini made by Phil from the farmer's market. I've been getting lots of free homemade pasta and pestos since I helped him with his stall revamp. I'm quite pleased with what I did, go take a look if you're curious or just want to indulge me.

44 comments:

  1. my daughter does that exact thing - meticulously fishing all the spring onions from a bowl of ramen! drives me nutty! I've just ordered some spring onion seeds online in the hope that if she grows them herself she'll be more likely to eat them... time will tell...

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    1. hur hur i must have driven my mum nuts then! what a great idea to try to make her like spring onions by letting her growthem herself! I remember growing lettuce for science in primary 3, and when we finally harvested it andmy mum served it to me, i said it was the best tasting lettuce ever.

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  2. That sounds so easy! My husband is a big rice noodle eater - I think he would love this sauce!! (I would too!) :) Thanks for your comment on my pie post, always nice to hear form you. As for the coconut ice cream, because I whipped it before and just put it in the freezer for 30 minutes - it formed a light frozen top layer, but remained creamy. I put the remainder in a freezer safe container, and let it thaw for 20-30 whipped it slightly with a fork before serving it again :)

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    1. thanks for the tips emily! that's brilliant, it's going to save me a lot of time when summer rolls round and i want to make ice cream!

      the sauce IS easy, hope your husband likes it (:

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  3. This recipe is too good..I like it...will try it soon.
    Loved the picture showing the ingredients..

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  4. Um ok. I think I could kill someone for this right now. But I'm too tired to cook it. Not too tired to kill, too tired to cook. Hmmmmm, that's not right.

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  5. Loving the simple simple simple sauce. There is something about noodles (and pasta) that really suits a straight forward, well balanced and simply but strongly flavoured sauce like this. And i like the way the brief cooking mellows the pungency of the garlic and onion, brings out the sweetness and still keeps all of the flavour.

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  6. shobha: Thank you! glad the picture helped too!

    natali: Hahaha, primal instincts.

    The Grubworm: Oh you've actually put it so much better than me. ;)

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  7. Reminds me of an atas form of dry instant noodles :> Looks much better too! :)

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  8. this looks seriously good! I love the simplicity - I'm going to try it this week. What kind of groundnut oil do you use?

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    1. thanks! I just use a regular groundnut oil, but I make sure it's kept in a dark place so it doesn't turn rancid, and also I use it up quickly i.e. small bottle.

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  9. These simple noodles must taste heavenly. I love chives, spring onions and even as a child I loved them, even though I hated salad and other bland green vegetables, I suppose I have always loved strong bold flavours (actually I used to eat raw garlic as a child and loved it too!), so I find this spring onion and garlic sauce idea perfect.
    The sauces/pesto etc design from the link is fantastic! I love your pure, clean style.

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    1. thanks sissi! you're a mad child. I have yet to find a child who eats RAW garlic!
      thank you! It's my first proper piece of packaging design work, so I'm chuffed(:

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  10. Hi Shuhan - this looks really tasty - my wife makes something a bit similar sometimes and it's always a wonderful meal! :)

    I like your graphic btw - I feel like you can have a future as a successful info-graphic designer :D

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    1. You should let your wife guest-post sometimes! the impression I get from your delicious blog posts is that you're the one who does all the cooking!

      Thanks about the graphics, I'm still playign around, glad to see people like them(:

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  11. OMG...combinación excelente luce muy sabroso,me encantan las pastas preparadas con sencillez,abrazos hugs,hugs.

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  12. This is just so perfect for spring, light and fresh. I love the recipe, it sound like a simpler version of 'Gan Lao Mian' without the fish balls :)

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  13. Sounds awesome girl, this is what I like about being a foodie and have foodie friends, there's always something new and yummy to try! I love the pictures too :)

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  14. Absolutely love it, simple fast and delicious. I'll definitely be trying this. PS I think your blog is beautiful!

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  15. I must try this miracle sauce next time! It really does sound delicious

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  16. rosita: oh thank you! I had to google translate that haha!

    j: thanks! haha my gan lao mian will be with shallot oil usually. but totally can work!

    my cooking hut: thanks!

    munaty: thanks! I get inspired looking at others' posts alot too!

    The little dinner lady: great, I hope it turns out well for you! and thanks about the blog(:

    wendy: ooh, do try, if it converts your kids to like spring onions, then i know for sure it's a miracle sauce!

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  17. what a beautiful sauce... I am preparing your 'Singapore' style noodles for dinner tonight... am very excited!

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  18. Yum-yum! Fast, easy & delicious recipe, that's what I like! Cooking these tonight that's for sure! Ya, I was hoping for a miracle when thinking what to cook for tonight! LOL.. Seriously I should visit your blog more often for ideas! Thanks for sharing your yummy recipes! :)

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    1. aw, thanks kit! hope it turned out well(: I like to keep it simple when the ingredients are good enough to shine on its own!

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  19. I love, love, love spring onions and know we'd enjoy this dish. Simple and satisfying! Your blog, writing, photography and fabulous graphics are wonderful -- so glad that you stopped by mine so I could find you!

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    1. hello kellypea! I love your blog too, the photos just makes me hungry. I'm glad to meet a springonion lover(: haha I wasn't one until recently!

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  20. I have a bunch of spring onions at home and I didn't know what to do with them until now! This looks fabulous so am going to try it out. Also, loving the new look on the site. Is it a blogger template or did you do it yourself? By the way, I made granola with gula melaka today. That stuff is fantastic. I wish I had bought more of it in Singapore. I know you can get it here but it's so much cheaper there and definitely tastes less refined than the one you get here.

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    1. I just went to check out your granola, it sounds fantastic. now, someone who finally GETS why i go crazy over that stuff. it'a amazing isnt it, toffee like sweetness, such depth!

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  21. Omg Shu Han! I LOVEEE what you've done with the blog. It's great to see you combining your love for design in your food blog now. Really great for readers (and fans) like me and hope you're having lotsa fun doing that too. Btw, this recipe is so fantastic. I have bookmarked this for my "no-time-to-cook-but-need-something-yummy-PRONTO" days aka "assignment or exam period" haha. Thanks and see you on Twitter ^o^

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    1. HELLO HELLO! haha thanks so much! i'm still playing around, so it's always great to hear positive comments about it! hahaha yah i know what you mean. best thing about this is you can even mix up a larger batch at a go, and have it every day for that exam week, if you dont get bored that is. heh.

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  22. this sounds just divine + i love that you're serving it here with noodles. looks so delicious! + i know i've said this before, but i love love love your little illustrations - too fun!

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  23. I am totally in love with the ginger-scallion sauce from the Momofuku book (and it's one of my favourite dishes at Noodle Bar - wish they would open one in London!), and this looks like a really nice riff on it!

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    1. I haven't had the good fortune to try Momofuku's Noodle Bar myself, so I make do with what recipes I can glean off people online ;) Lucky you!

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  24. This looks delicious and so simple, I love ramen. Happy blogging, Lee www.thebeachhousekitchen.wordpress.com

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  25. hallo shu han! great website! just discovered it :-) also a singaporean student studying in germany! may I ask how long this sauce can last in the fridge?

    Fiona

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    1. Hey fiona! Sorry for the late reply, I didn't catch this comment! I think it would be fine for at least 3 days in the fridge, I finished mine by then at least and it was fine then (: In fact the flavour develops and becomes stronger!

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  26. thanks! I will just freeze a whole batch then ;-) keep up your food adventures! its so nice to read, though its diff to get the ingredients here!

    Fiona

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  27. Wonderful idea! I made this today and loved it. Except there was a bit of bitter from the ginger. Any ideas how to reduce that?

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    1. Glad you like it! Hmm, the ginger shouldn't be bitter unless you burnt it. Or if you really dislike that astringent spicy taste of ginger, just reduce the amount used, it's your food, so feel free to adapt it to suit your tastebuds (: I always cook to tastes instead of to exact recipes!

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  28. Nice one! I'm going to have this for dinner tonight (although suspect I have the wrong noodles, but never mind...). I have some pork belly cooked in 5 spice which I will add. Glad I found you!

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    1. Yay! No noodles that are really 'wrong' but it goes esp well with egg/wheat noodles, not so much for rice noodles, but whatever, think it's going to be awesome with the pork belly. yummmmmmm.

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