How to Chop Scallions

Three Methods:Purchasing and Prepping ScallionsChopping Scallions for Garnishes or Cooked DishesCutting Scallions With Kitchen Shears

Cooks add scallions to a wide range of menu items. In their chopped form, scallions can be used as raw garnishes or as aromatic additions to cooked dishes.

Method 1
Purchasing and Prepping Scallions

These thin green onions have crisp green tops and white bottom sections. Generally, they are sold in bunches that are bound together with a rubber band, but sometimes you will find them packaged separately in a bag.

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    Purchase scallions at your local supermarket or specialty foods store.
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    Remove the rubber band that binds the scallions together. If they came in a bag, then remove them from the bag.
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    Pull off the wilted or brown layers from each scallion by grasping the wilted part and pulling downward. Discard the wilted sections.
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    Trim the green tops of any brown ends. You can trim them either by tearing the brown ends off with your fingers or using a knife.
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    Place each scallion under a stream of cool water. The scallion should be positioned with the green part angled down so that the hollowed leaf does not fill with water.
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    Rub each scallion gently with your fingers to wash off any dirt and chemicals. Dirt tends to get lodged just where the onion begins to turn green and branches out into individual leaves.
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    Pat the scallions dry with a paper towel. Wrap the dry scallions in another dry paper towel.
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    Place the scallions and the paper towel into a resealable bag. The paper towel will draw moisture away from the scallions and will help them to stay fresh for up to a week.

Method 2
Chopping Scallions for Garnishes or Cooked Dishes

Thinly sliced scallions make good garnishes when added to dishes at the very end of the cooking process. Sprinkle raw scallions over cooked dishes or add raw scallions to salads and salsas. When you sauté scallions in olive oil or butter, or cook them for a long length of time in a dish, you can chop them more coarsely. Chopping the scallions on an angle provides more visual interest and allows them to play a starring role in stir-fry dishes.

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    Grasp the bunch of scallions in your hand and hold them vertically with the hairy stems in your hand.
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    Tap the ends against your cutting board until the ends are neatly aligned.
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    Lay the aligned scallions horizontally on your cutting board and hold them with your left hand at the root end. Hold them with your right hand if you are left-handed.
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    Slice the scallions across the grain with a knife.
    • Chop them into pieces that are the width of a nickel (2 millimeters) if you’ll be using them as a garnish.
    • Chop the scallions more coarsely into pieces that are 1/4" (6 millimeters) wide if you plan on cooking them.
    • Slice the scallions into 1/4” (6 millimeters) pieces while holding the knife at a 45-degree angle if you’re preparing them for a stir-fry dish.
    • The back half of the knife should make contact with the scallions, while the tip stays in contact with the cutting board.
    • Hold the stems for added stability as you chop.
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    Stop slicing the scallions when you reach the white section. Typically, only the green parts of scallions are used in decorative garnishes.
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    Discard the white sections or set them aside for another use.

Method 3
Cutting Scallions With Kitchen Shears

Kitchen shears allow cooks to roughly chop scallions without the use of a knife. Use shears to cut scallions for longer cooking dishes in which the appearance of the scallions is not as important.

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    Align the bottoms of each scallion by tapping them gently on an even surface. The tops may be a bit uneven until you reach a point in the chopping where they’re all the same length.
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    Hold the aligned bundle of scallions in your non-dominant hand.
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    Position the scallions over a cutting board that will catch the chopped scallions as they fall. You can also position them directly over the skillet or pan in which you plan to cook your dish.
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    Grasp the clean scissors with your dominant hand and cut the scallions in mid-air.
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    Discard the hairy stem.
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  • For a cleaner cut, cut the scallions in half lengthwise before chopping.
  • The white part also tastes delicious, it just doesn't look as nice. If that isn't an issue, feel free to use that part!
  • Add a pinch of salt to your scallions when you cook them. Salt will help the scallions to soften more quickly.


  • Use caution when cutting your scallions directly over a sizzling dish. The olive oil or butter could spray upward and burn your hands.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels
  • Resealable bag
  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • Kitchen shears

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