Scallions and shallots are both aromatic vegetables belonging to the allium family.
Other members of the allium family include garlic, chives, and leeks.
Whether you eat them raw or cooked, scallions and shallots are typically served as an appetizer, condiment relish, or ingredient in other dishes.
The best way to prepare both vegetables is to fry them either whole or chopped or serve raw as a garnish or in salads.
Scallions, also known as young green onions, are long, thin tubes that gradually change color from green to white.
You can find them individually or in a bunch and they’re easy to spot because of their white roots.
Shallots and garlic are both types of onions and grow as bulbs, containing similar-looking cloves.
Shallots are characteristically similar to chives and spring onions, easily recognizable from their rich, red color and distinctive flavor.
Shallots are shaped differently than scallions.
They can be found in bunches and take the form of small, bulb-like onions.
They are much thinner than other types of onions, with a small bulbous base.
Unlike the green and white scallions, shallots have a brown or copper-colored skin that easily peels.
While scallions and shallots look quite different, they are both members of the Allium family.
They can be planted together and grow well beside each other.
Scallions and shallots have similar parts; their shoot comes out of the bulb and stands up above ground.
Both have a very similar food-chain system with a root system and a bulb that forms each vegetable.
Scallions can be harvested when they are still quite small and the green leaves are still attached.
Shallots have to grow and mature before they can be harvested and processed into their final form.
Shallot bulbs are larger than scallion bulbs because they mature over a longer duration.
Scallions usually grow singularly while shallots grow in clumps or clusters.
Can you use shallots in place of scallions?
While both vegetables are members of the Allium family, each has its own unique flavor and texture that’s often used specifically for certain recipes.
If you want to avoid scallions, spring onions would make a better substitute.
Raw shallots have a more intense flavor than scallions, and caramelized shallots can increase the sweetness of your dish.
Shallots are flavorful, small onions with a milder taste and smell compared to other varieties of onions.
They are frequently used in dishes that require a delicate taste, making them a chef’s favorite worldwide.
In addition, they are a nutritious addition to any meal, credited with numerous health benefits.
- Improving heart health and lowering blood pressure
- Reducing the risk of hypertension and heart disease
- Containing high amounts of antioxidants that can boost the immune system and reduce the risk of serious illnesses like cancer and Parkinson’s.
- Containing high amounts of fiber to feed the healthy gut bacteria and promote good bowel movements.
- Anti-inflammatory properties in shallots can help reduce muscle pains.
- Protect various vital organs and the brain
- The sulfur-containing compounds in shallots have been known to slow tumor development and reduce the risk of cancer.
The nutritional content of 100g of raw shallots are:
Which is stronger, scallions or shallots?
While shallots and scallions are both parts of the onion family, they have different tastes.
Scallions typically provide a milder, lighter taste when compared with their larger counterparts.
The green leaves of scallions have a sharper, fresher taste while the white part lowers down in the stalk tastes milder and sweeter.
They are harvested younger and smaller, resulting in a less pungent onion flavor.
Raw shallots have a hint of garlic, while cooked shallots have a mild, delicate flavor that makes them popular in many cuisines.
Frequently used in Asian cuisines, fried shallots are a common garnish to many dishes such as broths, stews, and soups.
You can prepare an airtight jar of crispy shallots and store it in the fridge for up to 2 months, ready to use daily in meals as a garnish or delicious snack on its own.
To make crispy shallots, first:
- Remove the skin and slice thinly, trying to keep them of equal size and thickness so they cook uniformly.
- Place the shallots in oil before heating the oil. Dropping them in hot oil can just burn them.
- Shallots are cooked amazingly quickly and can go from a deep, golden brown to a black mess in an instant.
- Fry for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.
- Watch them carefully, when they start turning brown, turn the flame off and continue to fry in hot oil.
- If you are late in turning off the flame, the shallots might burn, and they will burn quickly!
- Strain them and keep the oil for future use
- Place the wonderful, golden brown shallots onto kitchen towels and pat dry the excess oil.
Here’s a video tutorial on creating crispy fried shallots, or onions
Are shallots like garlic?
The genus “Allium” contains many other plants, including some which are also known as garlic.
Members of the allium family include chives, leeks, onions, shallots, and garlic.
Shallots have a higher moisture content and fewer calories when compared with garlic.
Garlic is a plant that is part of the onion family. It is a popular vegetable frequently used for flavoring and has numerous health benefits.
Garlic has been used by people around the world for centuries as both food and medicine.
Shallots have a sweet flavor and are often used to replace onions in dishes.
They are milder and less pungent and can be used in dishes that require a more delicate flavor.
They are flavor enhancers and rarely the main ingredient in a meal.
Some popular ways of preparing shallots are:
- Adding them raw to salads
- Stir-frying or lightly sauteed
- Baked till golden brown and added onto condiments, soups, stews, or sauces
- Deep-fried and kept as garnishes. When frying shallots, one key difference is adding raw shallots to oil and room temperature and not hot oil. Shallots cook incredibly quickly and can burn if dropped in hot oil.
- Pickling shallots with vinegar and salt to add acidity to salads