I’m still getting used to my new work routine. I started biking this week, which is faster (and better for me) than taking the bus, but I still leave earlier and get home later. There’s lots of food for snacking at work, which means I don’t eat as many real meals. Every day, there are freshly baked loaves of mini challah, which are too easy to swipe off the cooling rack. We split them, but I’m sure I’ve eaten what amounts to an entire six-inch loaf most days.
We also have a very late lunch/early dinner around 3:30 p.m., which means I’m usually not hungry when I get home. By the time I need a snack, it’s late and I’d rather throw something quick together to tide me over for the rest of the night than make an entire meal. It’s resulted in more than a few nights of rummaging through the freezer instead of turning on the stove, but I’m working on it.
This scallion-ginger-sesame sauce is the type of thing that’s perfect to have on hand to produce something tasty in a pinch. It’s incredibly flavorful and versatile. You start by stirring together thinly sliced scallions, minced ginger, slivers of Thai chilies, and toasted sesame seeds. That mixture alone could be the beginning of a delicious dish, but then you pull some kitchen wizardry and pour really hot oil over everything. The sauce will immediately sputter and bubble up, infusing the oil and softening the scallions and ginger. You can use it immediately or, as I do, make a big batch to store in the fridge.
In the last two days, I’ve spooned it over red rice for an instant rice salad, turned the salad leftovers into dinner with the addition of baked tofu cubes, and used some of the flavorful oil to sauté vegetables. It works equally well as a base from which to build a hearty stir-fry or a condiment to perk up leftovers.
- 1 cup neutral oil (I used sunflower seed oil)
- 2 cups scallions, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- ¼ cup sesame seeds, toasted
- Optional: Thinly sliced Thai chilies
- Heat the oil in a small saucepan until very hot. You can test it by dropping in a slice of scallion, which should immediately float on the surface and bubble violently. Combine the remaining ingredients with 1 teaspoon of salt in a large bowl.
- Carefully pour the oil into the bowl. The mixture will bubble up and sputter. Once it cools down, transfer the sauce to an air-tight container and store in the fridge.