Extra (Ap)petite: Mom’s ginger scallion sauce (for noodles or chicken)

extra petite home cooking recipes

Express double ruffle tee xsp (runs short; also styled here for workwear), Articles of Society shorts (similar for $20)

I don’t remember much from my early childhood in Canton, China, but oh how I remember the food. Poached chicken with ginger scallion dipping sauce was always a staple at family gatherings, and I’d hoard the sauce to eat over rice or toss with noodles (a tasty alternative for vegetarians!). After we moved to the U.S., my mom would still make this dish often because it was quick and inexpensive comfort food. And, lucky for me, Nick quickly mastered it for whenever he needs to get back on my good side ; )

To me, the beauty of this sauce is in its 4-ingredient simplicity. Raw ginger has a kick to it and scallions have that onion-y bite. When combined with sizzling oil and some salt, the flavors balance each other out nicely. Poached chicken might sound like the blandest thing on earth, but here it serves as a juicy canvas for the sauce (read below for tips on perfect poaching).

chinese cantonese comfort food chicken rice recipe
Today’s post is a slightly healthier modification of this traditional Cantonese favorite. Typically, the dish involves a whole poached chicken, and the sauce is very oily and salty, with ginger and just the white parts of scallions. My mom’s version subs in grapeseed oil (in a much reduced amount), and we use skinless chicken breasts or thighs. After poaching, you also end up with a light chicken broth with hints of the aromatics – it’s soothing to sip, or you can repurpose it in other dishes!

le creuset white gold knob dutch oven pot

Item Details

3.5 qt Le Creuset dutch oven pot (white + gold was limited edition, but you can buy gold knobs here – mine’s a size medium knob)

Cantonese Ginger Scallion Oil / Sauce

Sauce ingredients:
1 cup chopped scallions (both the green and white parts from 1-2 bunches)**
1 / 2 cup peeled, minced fresh ginger**
1 / 4 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
1 teaspoon salt; more to taste, only if needed

** I started using a food processor, which reduces ginger & scallion chopping time down to 2 minutes! I use and love this Cuisinart set with multiple attachments. With a food processor, be sure not to over-process / chop the scallions too finely otherwise the sauce won’t have any texture.

cantonese ginger scallion sauce recipe for chicken or noodles

Step 1: Put the chopped scallions and minced ginger (with the ginger on the top, so the hot oil will sear away some of its spiciness) into a heatproof bowl and sprinkle the salt on top.

sizzling oil for chinese ginger scallion sauce

Item Details

Anolon bronze skillet (also sold here)

Step 2: Heat the grapeseed oil in a skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat, then pour it into the bowl, letting the oil sizzle over the other ingredients. Mix well; the ginger and scallions will emit some water as everything settles. I usually let the sauce sit at room temperature for up to an hour so the flavors meld thoroughly.

You can then toss this mixture with noodles (love it with flat egg noodles) and serve with a fried egg on top, or follow the steps below to serve with chicken! We added a little side of veggies and rice topped with garlic chips.

how to make chinese cantonese ginger scallion oil sauce

Perfectly poached chicken breasts:

1 lb chicken (using 1 large boneless skinless breast here)
2-3 ginger slices and the white ends of scallions
water to cover the chicken
salt to taste (if you’ll be drinking the broth)

how to poach perfect chicken breast with ginger broth
Step 1: Put chicken into a lidded pot just large enough to hold it and the aromatics. Add just enough cold water to cover everything.

Step 2: Bring the water to a boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.

Step 3: Cover the pot and turn off the heat. Let stand for 30 minutes without opening the lid. Remove the chicken from the pot after the 30 minutes (test doneness with a food thermometer if you have one), slice, and serve.

For a light chicken broth with a hint of ginger, skim the foam and impurities off the top of the poaching broth and add salt to taste. Enjoy!

easy chinese ginger scallion sauce noodles or chicken recipe


37 thoughts on “Extra (Ap)petite: Mom’s ginger scallion sauce (for noodles or chicken)

  • Reply Neeltje | Thoughts in Style September 7, 2017 at 2:01 am

    It sounds and looks so good! X

  • Reply Rena September 7, 2017 at 2:40 am

    I’m absolutely convinced this sauce is a try worth! Thanks for sharing 🙂
    xx Rena

  • Reply Michael @ Mile in My Glasses September 7, 2017 at 3:24 am

    I love love love your photos Jean! They’re always so cute!

    Also, this recipe sounds amazing! I’ll have to give it a go!

    I hope you have a great Thursday!

  • Reply Lulu September 7, 2017 at 9:26 am

    Yummm! Cannot wait to try this myself. Thank you so much for sharing your family recipe!

    • Reply Jean | Extra Petite September 12, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      Let me know how it goes!! : )

  • Reply Hannah September 7, 2017 at 10:19 am

    That looks so yummy!!! I can’t wait to try it. Btw where did you get the white utensil holder? TIA

    • Reply Jean | Extra Petite September 12, 2017 at 3:10 pm

      Hi Hannah! It was a Marshalls / Homegoods find. They always have some good stuff in the kitchen section.. it’s as black hole for me there!

  • Reply Alexa M Johnson September 7, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Wow I don’t even like ginger and I want to try this! I’ll let you know how mine turns out!


  • Reply Jae September 7, 2017 at 10:41 am

    I love scallions! I must try this recipe. Thanks for sharing, Jean!

  • Reply Anonymous September 7, 2017 at 11:21 am

    i love these segments – you should make a spinoff blog for extraappetite!

    • Reply Jean | Extra Petite September 12, 2017 at 3:10 pm

      aww thank you! Haha I’ll have to leave the cooking blogs to the experts! I only have a select few dishes that are tried and true ; )

  • Reply Alice September 7, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Beautiful tutorial! My mom used to make this too – guess I should give it a try now. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • Reply Jean | Extra Petite September 12, 2017 at 3:11 pm

      Please do! It’s probably one of the easiest “mom’s cooking” items to replicate ; )

  • Reply Jandrew September 7, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    You look great in your at home tee outfit ! I no nothing about Asian cooking but am learning and I will add this recipe to my repertoire!
    Dress The Part

  • Reply Anita September 7, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    My mom makes this too I am trying to convert her from vegetable oil to avocado oil.

    • Reply Jean | Extra Petite September 12, 2017 at 3:11 pm

      Interesting! I haven’t tried avocado oil … does it have a distinct flavor?

  • Reply Rhg September 7, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    I can’t wait to try it, especially since I’m obsessed with poached chicken.
    Btw, is there anything that Nick can’t do?!

    • Reply Jean | Extra Petite September 12, 2017 at 3:13 pm

      Haha in all fairness, anyone can make this one ; ) How do you usually eat your poached chicken? I’m trying to find more ways to make use of that healthier style of cooking it!

  • Reply Bec September 7, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    When I lived in England I frequented a Chinese restaurant that offered a “cold” chicken salad type dish. This recipe for both the sauce and the chicken makes me think of that dish. I will definately try this. It may “take me back” to that delicious flavor. Thanks!

    • Reply Jean | Extra Petite September 12, 2017 at 3:13 pm

      Yum… do you remember what that restaurant was called? I’m curious to look up some pictures of this cold chicken salad type of dish to see what it was!

  • Reply Elizabeth September 7, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    My grandma makes this the same way too! 😀 Love how it tastes! Thank you so much for sharing this great recipe, love!

    XO, Elizabeth

  • Reply Hilary September 7, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    Can you do a post about Lafayette 148’s petite work clothes? The size chart indicates the petites are about 1 inch smaller in all dimensions. It looks like professional work attire that if styled by you could be really cute. Would love to see what some of the options look like.

    • Reply Jean | Extra Petite September 12, 2017 at 3:14 pm

      Hi Hilary – I’ve only tried their pieces a few years back and they ran pretty generously and were shapeless on me. If I come across them again in the near future and things have changed for the better, I’ll keep you guys posted!

  • Reply Shannon Mahaney September 7, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    This looks amazing! Pinned to try this later.

    • Reply Jean | Extra Petite September 12, 2017 at 3:14 pm

      Hi Shannon ~ let me know how it goes and what you decide to serve it over!

  • Reply elaine September 7, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    this combo is absolutely one of my favourite things to eat. i can’t stop myself from mixing the spread into rice, so good!

    • Reply Jean | Extra Petite September 12, 2017 at 3:15 pm

      Haha yes … but on the bad side, you end up eating so much more rice than you intend to at one sitting ; )

  • Reply Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog September 7, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    I always make a variation of this at home! Well, my mum does – I just eat it. So yummy!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • Reply Sincerely Ophelia September 8, 2017 at 12:04 am

    Loving this recipe so much! A taste of home!

    XOXO //
    SINCERELY OPHELIA | NYC Petite Fashion Blogger

  • Reply Anonymous September 8, 2017 at 2:40 am

    I’m a *little* bit horrified/surprised you did not chop off the roots of the scallions before using them as aromatics for the poaching broth! I’m sure the roots were washed thoroughly, but it’s like the one part you don’t eat on a scallion, so I would never even think to leave it on.

    A variation on the ginger scallion sauce is to add soy sauce to it, but I do it while it’s still warm and eat it while warm as well. The soy sauce and the oil never emulsify, but the scallions and ginger carry the soy sauce flavor. (Yes, it’s a bit more sodium-laden, but so tasty!)

    Also, saw your IG post/story with scallops (food, not scalloped edges on clothes, ha!), and a different flavor you could do with that is a garlic and soy sauce. It’s almost the same idea as the ginger scallion sauce, but with scallions and garlic chips in oil, no ginger, and a dousing of light soy sauce over it. It’s pretty Chinese-style to do scallops that way, but thought you might want to try it!

    • Reply Jean | Extra Petite September 12, 2017 at 3:16 pm

      Thank you for the scallop suggestions!

      And a little root or dirt never hurt anybody, especially since it’s being boiled ; )

  • Reply Mizeats September 9, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    This sauce looks and sounds so yummy, Jean! 😋

  • Reply Anonymous September 11, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Sounds amazing, cant wait to try it!

  • Reply Sarah W. September 13, 2017 at 12:42 am

    Just made this for my husband, who is Taiwanese American, and he was SO HAPPY. Thank you for the idea! 🙂

  • Reply Karrie September 13, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    I made this last night and it was so good. I grew up eating this but somehow forgot about it. The poaching liquid was really flavorful too. I love seeing you cook on IG stories. Really happy to see the recipes get their own post here. Thank you so much!

  • Reply Nina R. September 19, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Hi Jean! I love when you post recipes. I made this and it was delicious! Do you have any suggestions for peeling the ginger root? That was pretty time-consuming and what I thought was a large amount of ginger quickly shrank. I have very little experience cooking with fresh ginger and usually not such a significant amount. Thank you for any tips!

  • Reply Ginger Scallion Sauce over Rice Noodles/ $2 Dinner – Lovely Numbers October 20, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    […] stumbled across the recipe for this amazing sauce over at Extra Petite – I was previously unfamiliar with Cantonese cooking, but this simple and tasty sauce has […]

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