Instant Pot Ginger-Scallion Noodles (Cantonese Pesto)

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!

Ginger-Scallion Noodles

Begin by taking two bunches of scallions (aka green onions)...
Begin by taking two bunches of scallions (aka green onions)…
...and slice them like so, separating each bunch into two different bowls.
…and slice them like so, separating each bunch into two different bowls.
Then, grab a knob of ginger...
Then, grab a knob of ginger…
...and peel and roughly chop it up.
…and peel and roughly chop it up.
Place the ginger in one of the bowls of scallions and set aside.
Place the ginger in one of the bowls of scallions and set aside.
Now to get cookin'! To the Instant Pot, add some sesame oil and give it some heat.
Now to get cookin’! To the Instant Pot, add some sesame oil and give it some heat.
Once heated, add the other bunch of scallions (the one without the ginger) to the pot and sauté for a few moments.
Once heated, add the other bunch of scallions (the one without the ginger) to the pot and sauté for a few moments.
Pour some broth in the pot.
Pour some broth in the pot.
Then, break a box of spaghetti (our noodles) in batches...
Then, break a box of spaghetti (our noodles) in batches (to my Italian friends: try not to cringe)…
...and layer in a crisscross fashion. Secure the lid and cook at high pressure.
…and layer in a crisscross fashion. Secure the lid and cook at high pressure.
the pasta's cooking, we're gonna make that Cantonese pesto (aka ginger-scallion oil). Add them to a food processor (suggested) or blender.
While the pasta’s cooking, we’re gonna make that Cantonese pesto (aka ginger-scallion oil). Add them to a food processor (suggested) or blender.
Pulse until very finely minced and a bit wet.
Pulse until very finely minced and a bit wet.
Take a salad dressing shaker (suggested) or large bowl and pour in some vegetable oil.
Take a salad dressing shaker (suggested) or large bowl and pour in some vegetable oil.
Add the ginger-scallion blend to it...
Add the ginger-scallion blend to it…
...along with some soy sauce...
…along with some soy sauce…
...and salt.
…and salt.
Shake or mix well if in a bowl. And that's it! You have your spectacular ginger-scallion oil
Shake (shake, shake, señora) or mix well if in a bowl. And that’s it! You have your spectacular ginger-scallion oil!
When the spaghetti's done, it will have cooked perfectly. Give it a good stir; any noodles that may have stuck together will separate.
When the spaghetti’s done, it will have cooked perfectly. Give it a good stir; any noodles that may have stuck together will separate.
Now pour on that special oil!
Now pour on that special oil!
Toss until the noodles are nice and coated.
Toss until the noodles are nice and coated.
Serve it up!
Serve it up!
Now just look at this light, yet wondrous dish!
Now just look at this light, yet wondrous dish!
Give it a twirl around the fork (or use some chopsticks)...
Give it a twirl around the fork (or use some chopsticks)…
...and clench that thumb to the index finger because this super simple dish is one you'll make again and again!
…and clench that thumb to the index finger because this super simple dish is one you’ll make again and again!
Instant Pot Ginger-Scallion Noodles (Cantonese Pesto)
Yield: 6

Instant Pot Ginger-Scallion Noodles

Instant Pot Ginger-Scallion Noodles

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!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Additional Time 4 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes

Ingredients

The Noodles

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.

Jeffrey's Tips

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).

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