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Thread: using green onions- tops or bottoms or both?

  1. #1

    using green onions- tops or bottoms or both?

    always have wondered this- when a recipe calls for green onions, and it is going to be cooked, you should use the bottom (white) parts correct? and when they are to be sprinkled on top of say a baked potato, you use the tops (green)?

    i recently was at a friend's for dinner, and we had baked potatoes. she used the white part of the green onion to sprinkle on top. imo, it is too strong to eat raw. not use to that. i almost always just use the green part to garnish dishes (unless it is being cooked).

    what do you guys do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    I use the whole thing for all dishes unless the recipe is specific and even then I might just put all of it in. I love green onions, DH doesn't like them raw (either part) so I don't put any in the salad just add mine at the table.
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  3. #3


    I often read recipes stating "green onions, including tops" which amuses me, because I'd rather eat the tops than the bottoms. For garnishes, unequivocally, I'd use the tops. Generally, if a recipe says green onions and doesn't specify tops, I'll throw in both anyway, since I LOVE green onions and they're in staple in this household.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Chicago, IL USA
    I use the whites, the light green, and a little of the green (like up to the middle, maybe). I don't use the tops, as they tend to be a yucky texture - tough, kind of bitter big pieces. I'd rather use chives as a garnish than the tough, thick ends of green onions.

  5. #5
    I was surprised to see that Cook's Thesaurus didn't recommend using the onion bottoms, since I'd always heard that was the preferred usage. Here's what they say:


    The name "scallion" is applied to several members of the onion family including a distinct variety called scallion, immature onions (commonly called green onions ), young leeks and sometimes the tops of young shallots. In each case the vegetable has a white base that has not fully developed into a bulb and green leaves that are long and straight. Both parts are edible. True scallions are generally identified by the fact that the sides of the base are straight, whereas the others are usually slightly curved, showing the beginnings of a bulb. All can be used interchangeably although true scallions have a milder flavor than immature onions. Scallions are available year-round but are at their peak during spring and summer. Choose those with crisp, bright green tops and a firm white base. Midsized scallions with long white stems are the best. Store, wrapped in a plastic bag, in the vegetable crisper section of the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Scallions can be cooked whole as a vegetable much as you would a LEEK. They can also be chopped and used in salads, soups and a multitude of other dishes for flavor.

    Wegman's says similar:


    Also referred to as green onions. The vegetable has a white base that has not fully developed into an onion bulb and green leaves that are long and straight. Both white and green parts are edible. Scallions have a milder flavor than most onions.

    Look for crisp, bright green tops and firm white bottoms.

    Refrigerate, unwashed, in a plastic bag for up to 1 week.

    Uses & Preparation:

    Rinse and pat dry. Trim root ends. Strip off and discard wilted outer leaves.
    To grill, trim off roots and 2 inches of tops. Grill until tender and streaked with brown.
    Chop for salads.
    Cook whole as a vegetable as you would leeks.
    Add to soups.

    Nutrition Information:

    Fat, sodium, and cholesterol free.
    Low in calories.
    Good source of vitamin C.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Lenexa, KS
    I use "most" of the onion (except for the very top) for anything cooked. I use the green part only for garnishing.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Orlando, FL
    For cooked dishes I use the white part and the green (all but the very top with is a not-nice texture). For garnishes I use just the green part.

    Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible. Cadet Maxim

    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Houston, Tx
    I'm another of the "use the whole thing" (about half way up green part), even on baked potatoes.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    With the voices in my head
    And another one here who uses the whole thing with the exception of the very top.
    Life is all about a$$; you're either covering it, laughing it off, kicking it, kissing it, busting it, trying to get a piece of it, behaving like one, or you live with one.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    bay area, california
    I use everything.

  11. #11
    thanks guys!

    i always use the green for garnishes, so it just surprised me that my friend used the white (and a little of the light green) part. i am not crazy about any raw onions in general (although i do eat them). i like my onions cooked, or raw in moderation. i just like the tops better than the bottoms.

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