The topic of scallion vs green onions can be confusing. Is there a difference? Also, how do spring onions fit into the mix? Let’s dig in and find out.
Scallion vs Green Onions
Let’s get right to the point. There is absolutely no difference between scallions and green onion. They are one and the same!
In some markets they are known as scallions; in others, green onions.
Both belong to the genus and species known as Allium fistulosum. Other names for this species include Japanese bunching onion and Welsh onion.
Believe it or not, the differing names are often regionally based. Scallion is the common name used in Ireland, for example. But each name refers to the same ingredient– something to keep in mind when you’re preparing recipes.
As a result of the dual identity, I’ll refer to them interchangeably moving forward.
What Are Spring Onions?
To make things even more confusing, some countries refer to scallions as spring onions.
However, spring onions are actually a different type of onion altogether.
With similar physical characteristics, it’s easy to confuse these root onions, but there are some key differences.
A spring onion has the same stalk appearance, with green and white coloring. However, the bulb on the white end is more round and distinct. It has a much more noticeable bulb than a green onion, as you can see in the above photo.
Another key difference is the flavor. Scallions have a mild peppery flavor, making them a perfect choice for salads and garnishing a variety of dishes. Spring onions, on the other hand, have a more sweet flavor, so they’re a better fit for recipes where you want to add sweetness (for example, somewhere you might normally use vidalia onions).
Did you know you can regrow green onions on your windowsill or plant them outside? That way you can always have them on hand. I keep them in my kitchen window during the winter months, and in a pot on my back deck during spring through fall. It’s a great way to save money!
To regrow green onions indoors: Place the roots in a spare mason jar or cup with water and give them light. Trim them back periodically, and change the water out every few days to avoid an odor.
To regrow green onions outside: Plant the roots in soil just as you would flowers or herbs. Mine have gotten insanely big this summer with occasional watering and partial sun.
Recipes Using Scallions
- Mushroom Gyoza
- Easy Homemade Ramen with Mushrooms
- Twice-Baked Potatoes
- Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes (on Fifteen Spatulas)
Other Ingredient Guides
If you found this post about the difference between scallions and green onion helpful, you may also enjoy some of my other ingredient guides! Be sure to check out What Are Ramps, Types of Onions, and What is Tofu?
Also, you can visit my full archive of ingredient guides!
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