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

extra petite home cooking recipes

Express tee xsp, Articles of Society shorts (similar)

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; Crate & Barrel carries Le Creuset products in gray with a gold knob)

Print Recipe
4.88 from 8 votes



  • 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
  • sesame oil (optional)


  • 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.
  • 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, the traditional way is to eat this sauce with rice and poached chicken.
  • Optional: garnish with a drizzle of sesame oil on top when serving.


** I've been using this KitchenAid food processor, which reduces ginger & scallion chopping time down to 2 minutes! 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

sizzling oil for chinese ginger scallion sauce

Item Details

Anolon nonstick skillet – I have the 10″ & 12″ set

how to make chinese cantonese ginger scallion oil sauce

Perfectly poached chicken:

1 lb chicken (using 1 large boneless skinless breast here)
2-3 ginger slices + any other aromatics desired like onion or lemongrass
enough water to cover the chicken
salt to taste (if you’ll be drinking the broth or using it to cook rice)

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 right after the 30 minutes (test doneness with a food thermometer if you have one), slice, and serve. For smaller pieces of chicken like half breasts, thighs, or drumsticks, I’ve found it only takes about 25 minutes covered.

For a light chicken broth with a hint of ginger, skim the fat off the top of the poaching broth and add salt to taste. I try to make the chicken in advance so that I can use the broth to cook my rice!

easy chinese ginger scallion sauce noodles or chicken recipe

For Daily Posts

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating


  1. Nina R. wrote:

    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!

    Posted 9.19.17 Reply
    • Anonymous wrote:

      Instead of trying to peel I just use a thin spoon to scrape the skin off. There are plenty of YouTube videos using this method.

      Posted 5.26.20 Reply
  2. Karrie wrote:

    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!

    Posted 9.13.17 Reply
  3. Sarah W. wrote:

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

    Posted 9.13.17 Reply
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    Sounds amazing, cant wait to try it!

    Posted 9.11.17 Reply
  5. Mizeats wrote:

    This sauce looks and sounds so yummy, Jean! 😋

    Posted 9.9.17 Reply
  6. Anonymous wrote:

    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!

    Posted 9.8.17 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Thank you for the scallop suggestions!

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

      Posted 9.12.17 Reply
      • Evan wrote:

        My wife is from Hawaii and she brought to me a recipe very similar to this. She finely chops 80g scallion, 60g garlic, and 60g ginger. Then poach or boil the chicken which is cut to 1/2″ cubes. Heat 4-5T canola oil to almost smoking in a small pot. Now plate the chicken on each serving, and spoon on maybe 2T of the “sauce” mixture, then spoon on about 2T of the super hot oil to sizzle the aromatics. It’s fantastic!

        Posted 8.25.20 Reply
  7. Loving this recipe so much! A taste of home!

    XOXO //
    SINCERELY OPHELIA | NYC Petite Fashion Blogger

    Posted 9.8.17 Reply
  8. I always make a variation of this at home! Well, my mum does – I just eat it. So yummy!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Posted 9.7.17 Reply
  9. elaine wrote:

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

    Posted 9.7.17 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

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

      Posted 9.12.17 Reply
  10. This looks amazing! Pinned to try this later.

    Posted 9.7.17 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

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

      Posted 9.12.17 Reply
  11. Hilary wrote:

    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.

    Posted 9.7.17 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      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!

      Posted 9.12.17 Reply
  12. Elizabeth wrote:

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

    XO, Elizabeth

    Posted 9.7.17 Reply
  13. Bec wrote:

    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!

    Posted 9.7.17 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      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!

      Posted 9.12.17 Reply
  14. Rhg wrote:

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

    Posted 9.7.17 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      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!

      Posted 9.12.17 Reply
  15. Anita wrote:

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

    Posted 9.7.17 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

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

      Posted 9.12.17 Reply
  16. Jandrew wrote:

    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

    Posted 9.7.17 Reply
  17. Alice wrote:

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

    Posted 9.7.17 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

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

      Posted 9.12.17 Reply
  18. Anonymous wrote:

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

    Posted 9.7.17 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      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 ; )

      Posted 9.12.17 Reply
  19. Jae wrote:

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

    Posted 9.7.17 Reply
  20. Wow I don’t even like ginger and I want to try this! I’ll let you know how mine turns out!


    Posted 9.7.17 Reply
  21. Hannah wrote:

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

    Posted 9.7.17 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      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!

      Posted 9.12.17 Reply
  22. Lulu wrote:

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

    Posted 9.7.17 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Let me know how it goes!! : )

      Posted 9.12.17 Reply
  23. 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!

    Posted 9.7.17 Reply
  24. Rena wrote:

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

    Posted 9.7.17 Reply
  25. It sounds and looks so good! X

    Posted 9.7.17 Reply

Get the newsletter!

What updates would you like?