Also known as green onion or bunching onion in the USA, spring onion in the UK and strangely enough, shallot in Australia, this aromatic plant has been cultivated in China for over 2,000 years. A scallion is an immature onion with long green stems and a small under developed white bulb at the root end, both of which are edible. Because of its crisp, sharp fresh taste and its bright green and white color, it is used extensively in Chinese cooking, especially to cover fishy taste and balances the coldness of other food. The scallion has a slightly hot flavor that is milder than the common onion but stronger than chives. The white part contains vitamin B and C while the green part of scallion contains much Vitamin A. In Chinese medicine, the white part is always used as a concoction to bring out the effect of the principal medicine. Scallion is known to be effective in stimulating sweat, aiding urination, calming the nerves and expelling sputum.
Scallion can be used to cure common cold. Simmer 10 white stalks of scallion, 15g preserved black beans, 5 slices of ginger and 3 bowls of water until it reduces to 1 bowl. Cover the patient with comforter after taking the soup. The patient would have major sweating. The fever and cold would be cured.
For sinus blockage and itchy throat that might lead to coughing, make noodles with ginger, scallion and sprinkle ground white pepper on top. Serve hot. This is effective for inflammation in sinus or trachea.
Cures kidney stone: Double-steaming scallions with pig's leg and a bit of water (without salt) is believed to be effective in curing kidney stones. Eat repeatedly to recover completely.
Cooking food of cold nature, such as fish, crabs, shrimps, with scallion helps balance the Coldness and remove the fishy taste. Seasoning seafood with scallion, ginger or preserved black beans balances the Coldness. As you may notice, Peking roasted duck is always served with a plate of scallion (the white part only). This is to balance the Coldness of the duck. Beancurd and scallion hot pot is a great dish to warm up the body in winter.
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