Scallion Scallions (also known as spring onions or sibies) are vegetables derived from various species in the genus Allium. Scallions have a milder taste than most onions. ... These leaves are used as a vegetable; they are eaten either raw or cooked. The leaves are often chopped into other dishes, in the manner of onions or garlic.
When selecting scallions, the cook should choose fresh-looking green ones with firm white bulbs and thin red necks. Avoid those that are very limp or yellowed. Scallions will keep in the refrigerator for four to five days. They may also be stored by cutting off the roots and leaving them covered with water in a plastic bag. They will keep for several weeks under refrigeration this way.
Scallions are eaten either raw or cooked. When used as an herb, e.g., added to salads, they impart a milder taste than that of onions. Scallions are often chopped and stir-fried or deep-fried as a side dish. In Korean cuisine, "pa muchim" is a common side dish made from grated scallions. In some cuisines of the Indian subcontinent, chopped scallions are used as a garnish on cooked dishes. In contrast to other onion varieties, scallions do not typically cause tearing when cut due to the polyunsaturated nature of the sap which runs along the inside of each segment.
Scallions are also eaten as a cooked vegetable, such as in "suan cai" (Chinese fermented vegetables). In Korea, scallions that have been cut into large pieces are simmered or stir-fried with meat and other vegetables as "pa-chok" or used as a condiment. In Japanese cuisine, scallions are often an ingredient of "sōsu" (condiments for dipping), such as "tsuyudaké", thinly sliced raw horse mackerel wrapped around finely chopped scallion and dipped in soy sauce; also used to make "namasu" (salad dressing) and "goma-dare", a sauce for cold soba.
In India, a garnish of finely chopped scallions is a common addition to most dishes. A frequent use of scallions in China is in "suan cai", where they are sautéed in oil and seasoned with rice vinegar, salt, ginger, garlic, and chili pepper. In the Philippines, scallions are a core ingredient in "pinangat", a tamarind-based soup from Mindanao. In Central American cuisine, raw or blanched scallions have been used as a base for other ingredients in many dishes. They are eaten alone in "pico de gallo" to accompany other Mexican dishes; the hollow stem is filled with spicy salsa and sometimes mixed into guacamole, then used to scoop bites of foodstuff by hand. The base may be stuffed with meat or cheese prior to frying in olive oil for a dish known as "hortalizas con queso" (literally, "vegetables with cheese").
Global scallion production
Scallion is one of the most popular vegetables in Asia and its production is increasing globally. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), global scallion production totaled 9.3 million metric tons in 2016, up from 8.9 million metric tons in 2013. The majority of scallion production takes place in Asia, where China is the leading producer, followed by India and Bangladesh. Other major scallion-producing countries include Egypt, Iran, and Turkey.
While Asia is the top region for scallion production, other regions are also seeing increases. North America’s scallion production has grown steadily over the past decade, reaching nearly 41,000 metric tons in 2016. This is still a small fraction of Asia’s production, but the trend is worth noting. In Europe, Spain is the leading producer of scallions, followed by Italy and the Netherlands.
When it comes to global scallion trade, China is both the leading exporter and importer. In 2016, China exported 1.5 million metric tons of scallions, worth $1.1 billion. This was a significant increase from 2013 when exports totaled 1.2 million metric tons, valued at $856 million. The majority of China’s scallion exports go to other Asian countries, such as Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam. Europe is the second-largest destination for Chinese scallion exports, with the Netherlands being the top European importer.
China’s scallion imports have also been on the rise in recent years. In 2016, China imported nearly 700,000 metric tons of scallions, worth $481 million. This was up from 2013 when imports totaled 562,000 metric tons, valued at $373 million. The majority of China’s scallion imports come from other Asian countries, such as India, Myanmar, and Thailand. Europe is the second-largest source of scallion imports for China, with the Netherlands being the top European supplier.