If you go for Cantonese cuisine, chances are you’ve had that magical ginger-scallion oil served alongside your meal. It’s practically identical in look to an Italian pesto sauce and is also oil-based (vegetable instead of olive), but that’s where the similarities end as they are very different tasting. So I decided to take some spaghetti and, in lieu of a classic pesto, toss this wondrous ginger-scallion oil with it, making it light yet full of flavorful satisfaction. What’s more, it’s done in minutes, with minimal and basic ingredients and is also vegan!
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil (see Jeff’s Tips)
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced into 1/2-inch strands
- 3 cups vegetable or garlic broth (e.g. Garlic Better Than Bouillon)
- 1 pound spaghetti
The Ginger-Scallion Oil
- 4-inch knob of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced and roughly chopped
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Add the oil to the Instant Pot. Hit Sauté and Adjust so it's on the More or High setting. After 3 minutes of the oil heating, add the scallions and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until softened.
- Add the broth, break the noodles in half and layer then in a crisscross fashion so they’re mostly submerged in the broth but do not stir. Secure the lid, move the valve to the sealing position, hit Cancel followed by Manual or Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 8 minutes. Quick release when done.
- While the spaghetti’s cooking, add the ginger and scallion to a food processor or blender. Pulse/blend until finely minced. Transfer the minced ginger and scallion to a salad dressing shaker or large bowl and add the oil, soy sauce, and salt. Whisk until well combined (see Jeff's Tip).
- When the lid comes off, give the pot a good stir (NOTE: The spaghetti may be a little clumped together and perhaps a bit al dente but that’s how it should be. It will separate and continue to cook as it’s stirred). Pour the ginger-scallion oil all over the noodles, stir, and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Top with additional scallions or remnants from the oil, if desired.
Here are some more veggie options for you to add in Step 1 while sautéing the scallions:
•1 medium yellow onion, diced
•8-16 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
•1 large or 2 medium carrot(s), cut into thick matchsticks ¼-inch thick
•1 large bell pepper of your choice, diced
•6 ounces snow pea pods
•1 (8-ounce) can water chestnuts, drained
•1 (8-ounce) can bamboo shoots, drained
•OR you can be lazy and just use up to a 24-ounce bag of a frozen veggies: be it classic veggies or an Asian stir-fry mix
Here are a few optional touches to add in Step 4 when adding the ginger-scallion oil to the noodles:
•1-2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
•2-4 teaspoons soy sauce (tamari or coconut aminos)
•1-2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
And here’s where you can add some proteins of your choice:
•2 pounds thinly-sliced chicken breasts, cut into size-size pieces (in Step 1 with the veggies until pinkish-white in color, about 2 minutes – but reduce the broth to 2 1/2 cups since they will release juices)
•2 pounds flank steak, cut into bite-size pieces (in Step 1 with the veggies until lightly browned on the edges – but reduce the broth to 2 1/2 cups since the steak will release juices)
•1-2 pounds raw frozen shrimp, peeled and deveined (in Step when adding the sauce. Once curled and opaque, it’s cooked).