Adding fresh allium notes as well as bright green color to any dish, Vietnamese scallion oil, called mỡ hành, is used as a garnish or condiment on a number of different foods, here we are adding it to cooked asparagus.
This version from Milk Street includes savory fish sauce (or soy sauce), pungent ginger and a little sugar to build complexity. Try it on shrimp, steak, grilled pork chops, corn on the cob or steamed dumplings. Leftover scallion oil can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to three days; return it to room temperature before serving.
For proper texture and flavor, the scallions should be chopped. Slice them first, then run the knife blade over them a few times to further break them down.
Asparagus with Vietnamese Scallion Sauce
- ½ cup chopped scallions (5 or 6 scallions)
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- ¼ cup peanut or other neutral oil
- 1½ Tbsp. fish sauce or soy sauce
- 1½ Tbsp. finely grated fresh ginger
- 1 tsp. white sugar
- 1 1⁄2 lbs. asparagus, trimmed and halved on the diagonal
- 3 Tbsp. water
- In a medium heatproof bowl, combine the scallions, ¼ teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Using your fingers, gently rub the salt and pepper into the scallions until the scallions begin to wilt.
- In a small saucepan over medium-high, heat the oil until shimmering, then pour the hot oil over the scallions; the scallions will sizzle. Stir, then stir in the fish sauce, ginger and sugar. Cool to room temperature.
- In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon neutral oil until barely smoking. Add asparagus and cook, stirring only a few times, until charred. Add 3 tablespoons water, then immediately cover. Reduce to low and cook, stirring just once or twice, until the asparagus is crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve with scallion oil spooned over.
Recipe by Courtney Hill for Milk Street