Ginger scallion sauce is one of the most underrated condiments out there. It’s bright, funky, and a teensy bit tangy, and it brightens up whatever dish you use it with. You’ll usually find the sauce used on poached chicken (it’s a non-negotiable for Hainanese chicken rice!). But it works with practically anything: meat, seafood, noodles, sandwiches, whatever. Plus, it’s so easy to make; it only takes around 10 minutes to put together. This recipe walks you through how to make the vibrant sauce at home.
It only takes a couple of ingredients to make ginger scallion sauce. The most basic recipes only really need ginger, scallions, salt, and oil. This version, however, gets a little more freshness from cilantro and nuttiness from sesame oil. If you’re not a fan of cilantro, you can just replace it with scallions, upping the total amount to 3/4 cup in the recipe.
This ginger scallion sauce sits on the chunky side (traditionally, it’s finer). But you can always adjust it depending on the texture you want it. You can run your ginger, scallions, and cilantro through a food processor before mixing them together for a smoother sauce. Adversely, you can chop everything a little bit more roughly for a chunkier finish.
The magic of this recipe happens in the oil. It’s important to use oil with a high smoking point such as vegetable oil or corn oil. Olive oil won’t work here because of its low smoke point. That, and it has a strong flavor that might overpower the sauce. You heat up your oil just until it starts to smoke, then you pour it into a bowl containing all your other ingredients, minus the sesame oil. (The hot oil will sizzle and bubble up so make sure you use a large heatproof bowl for this.) This will cook the ginger, scallions, and cilantro in a way that brings out all of their flavors and infuses them into the oil.
You can store the sauce in a jar in the fridge for two to three weeks—though we’re pretty sure it won’t last that long.