Let’s be honest, cooking is hard to do without the help of the humble onion. Unfortunately, the process of mincing one is such a pain that it literally brings tears to our eyes. For those nights you don’t want to be misty-eyed while holding a chef’s knife, we have the solution: Opt for a milder version of the bigger bulbs. Green onions (aka scallions) are unassuming but they boast a flavor that is both elegant and bold. The only catch is that unlike your sturdy Spanish onion, scallions are prone to shriveling in the fridge. Follow these steps for how to store green onions to keep them fresh for days (and your kitchen tear-free).
How to Store Green Onions at Room Temperature
Believe it or not, your baby onions don’t require a frigid temperature to stay healthy. In fact, they love the sun. This storage trick is ideal since it prevents food from getting lost in the black hole that is your fridge. Extra bonus? Using this method won’t just keep green onions fresh but you can also regrow them this way, thereby upping your stir-fry game for months to come.
1. Fill a large glass jar or small vase with two inches of cold water, or just enough to cover the root (i.e., the white, bulbous portion) of the green onions.
2. Place the green onions root-side down into the water and find a home for them on a windowsill that gets plenty of natural light. Change the water every two to three days and snip off what you need (hello, 15-minute skillet pepper steak).
3. Once your scallions have been cut down to just above the white part, they’ll actually regrow in the jar, provided you change the water every couple of days and prune them by periodically trimming dried and browning leaves. (Just never trim anything white or close to the root.) Pretty cool, right?
How to Store Green Onions in the Fridge
This refrigerator method works well for preserving the freshness of green onions for about a week. To try it out, you’ll need a glass jar, rubber band and plastic bag.
1. Find your container. Large glass jars with wider mouths work best (a pickle jar will do the trick). Once you have chosen your storage vessel, follow the same instructions above by filling it with cold water and placing green onions, bulbs down, into the jar.
2. To trap the humidity so your scallions don’t dehydrate in the fridge, place a plastic bag over the mouth of the jar. The original produce bag can be used, provided it has no tears; otherwise, a standard sandwich bag can serve the same purpose.
3. Using the rubber band, bunch the plastic bag around the mouth of the jar so it stays in place. An airtight seal is not required.
4. Place the water-filled jar of green onions in the fridge. Pro tip: Be sure to find a plot of land that isn’t heavily trafficked so the storage container won’t be toppled. Change the water every three days to extend lifespan.
How to Store Green Onions Using a Paper Towel
The paper towel route works well at both room and refrigerator temperatures, and it saves precious space—all while protecting green onions from decay for days longer than standard storage techniques. Using this method, your green onions will stay crunchy for about a week or so.
1. Pull a swath of paper towel off the roll and spread it out on your kitchen countertop.
2. Sprinkle the paper towel lightly with cold water before arranging unwashed scallions on top in a single layer.
3. Roll the scallions up in the dampened paper towel and place the bundle into a large freezer bag.