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Spring Onions

Allium wakegi


Description

Spring onions look like miniature leeks, and are essentially onions that don’t mature. They have a much milder flavour than onions, and can be used in any dish for which you want that strong savoury flavour, but without the bite.

Spring onions are a good source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. They’re also high in flavonoids, an antioxidant that’s thought to help protect against heart disease, but this hasn’t been proven.

Choose spring onions with bright green shoots that stand up straight. The ends should be bright white. Smaller spring onions will have the sweetest flavour. Store spring onions in the fridge, where they’ll keep for about five days.

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History

The onion has been used for millennia as a medicine. The Romans ate it to give them extra strength before going into battle, which the ancient Greeks believed it would balance the blood. They were also highly regarded by the Egyptians; workers were paid in onions as currency, and they were put in tombs for pharaohs to take them along to the afterlife.

Uses

Spring onions are often used in salads and stir fries, to give a milder onion flavour. Finely chopped spring onion gives added colour and flavour to mashed potato, and it’s excellent in a stir fry, especially with ginger.

Spring onions can also be braised; try including chunks of them when you braise leeks.

Facts

In America, spring onions are known as scallions; this is worth remembering if you’re using an American recipe.

In Australia, spring onions are sometimes known as shallots, which in other parts of the world are something else entirely.



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