One of my first *wow* moments from culinary training was learning how to correctly peel gingerroot. Using a peeler never worked quite right due to the knobbiness of ginger. Cutting off the peel with a knife made me feel like half the ginger was ending up in the trash. The trick is to use a spoon to scrape the peel away, which works like kitchen magic.
I’m a self-admitted ginger-aholic. I can’t get enough of it and I’m always on a quest to use it in everything (even drinks…see here.), so this was a time-saver. One of my favorite ginger concoctions this past year has been whizzing gingerroot, scallions, canola oil and salt in the food processor. I make a pot of rice, saute chicken thighs and then serve it with ginger sauce to dip it. It transforms ho-hum chicken and rice to fabulous. I’ll saute shrimp and pour the sauce over it, or even drizzle a bit into butternut squash soup. It’s massively versatile, and I plan my dinners around the sauce when a vat of it is in the fridge. But then I stumbled on Francis Lam’s version, which uses hot oil instead of cold. Results are below.
Garlic-Scallion Sauce, Two Ways
The version using cold oil and just a food processor: about 4 ounces gingerroot (peeled and chopped in 1-inch pieces), 2 to 3 roughly chopped scallions, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or more) in a food processor. Puree it all, while pouring 1/2 cup canola oil down the feed tube. Puree until emulsified. Taste the sauce, and adjust the seasoning if needed.
The version using hot oil, a food processor and many pots: about 2 ounces gingerroot (peeled and chopped in 1-inch pieces), 2 bunches of scallions and salt whirled in the food processor and then put in a large heat-proof pot. 1 cup of canola oil is heated until smoking and then poured over the scallion-ginger combo. The complete recipe is on Gilt Taste.
The Verdict: There’s no denying that the hot oil gently cooks the scallions and ginger, mellowing out both. In a hurry, go for the version using cold oil. It’s quicker with easier clean-up. If time’s on your side, the hot oil version rocks. Just make sure to double or triple the amount. You’ll eat it all.