Sunday, August 17, 2014

Scallion Oil


I have many fond memories from my childhood growing up in a small village in the Mekong Delta. I remember eating lots of snacks sold by vendors along Highway One. There was and still is basically one major highway in the whole country (Vietnam) and people would sell all sorts of items on the most traveled road.  I believe it is good business sense to sell things where the people are! One of the evening snacks that I enjoyed was the charcoal grilled corn on the cob with scallion oil drizzled on it. The mildly burned corn smelled and tasted so delicious! You can grill the corn over electric grill for convenience. Looking back the corn in Vietnam was not as sweet and juicy as the sugar corn known in the East Coast in the summertime. My husband likes lots of butter on his corn on the cob.  I like to eat mine with a little scallion oil. I guess people tend to eat what they ate growing up and what they are familiar with.

There are other ways to use scallion oil. One of my favorite ways is to drizzle some over a type of noodles known as banh hoi. The best way I can describe banh hoi is that it resembles a thin clump of noodles or flattened bird's nest. In my family we wrap banh hoi with lettuce, thin slices of cucumber, herbs and seafood (fish, shrimp, Maine lobster, etc) and/or meat (boiled pork, roasted pork, BBQ pork, roasted duck, grilled meat, etc) and dip in a Vietnamese dipping sauce. It's a fun and filling way to eat with family and friends!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup canola oil, vegetable oil or olive oil (or more if you prefer)
1/2 cup thinly sliced or chopped scallion
A pinch of salt (optional)

Method:

1) Heat a pan over high heat.
2) Once the pan is hot add the oil and scallion.
3) Sauté about 1-2 minutes or until the scallion is soft.
4) Add salt, stir and remove from heat.

**addendum: I always try to improve my recipe and photos. I want to point out that it is best to make the scallion oil using just the green leafy part of the scallions. Also it is better to use more oil than scallion for this recipe. Below are a few updated photos from Vietnam (2015).

scallion oil over banh hoi
(special rice noodles)
banh hoi

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