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I like this sharp and spicy salad with barbecued meats and lettuce wraps as it helps cut through the richness of the meat and sauces. Wait until just before serving to drain and dress the spring onions so they stay crisp. It is also a brilliant accompaniment to steamed fish.


Serves 6

  • 8 scallions cut into 13 cm (5 in) long strips
  • 1⁄2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 31⁄2 tbsp Korean apple vinegar (sagwa-shikcho) or rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp gochugaru (Korean chilli flakes)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • Sea salt


  1. Put the onions in a large bowl of ice water and soak until the scallions curl up, at least 5 minutes or up to 2 hours in the fridge. When ready to serve, drain well, spin in a salad spinner or pat dry.
  2. In a bowl, whisk the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, chilli flakes, sugar and a pinch of salt until the sugar dissolves. Add the spring onions and red onion and toss to coat.


There is a Japanese tool called a negi cutter (negi is Japanese for ‘scallion’) that I use to shred scallions. It looks like a paintbrush handle, but there are several blades attached in lieu of bristles. Just run the blades along a length of scallion to quickly shred it.

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