Shallot together with fresh ginger and garlic, is part of what chef Martin Yan called “the holy trinity of Chinese cuisine.” The shallot (called “green onions” in the United States) and are indispensable in Chinese cuisine . Their delicate, flavor is used in marinades, poultry, and in cooked dishes, particularly fried. In Cantonese cuisine, the shallot is often paired with ginger in fish dishes, and the two aromatics are used in a heated oil dressing served with white onion and chopped chicken.
Shallots are also used as a garnish: both scallop brushes including branches are cut to form an attractive fringe.
Shallot is a member of the garlic family which also includes onions and leeks.
The taxonomic name for shallots is Allium fistulosum (the name of the species means tubular or empty). An onion is grouped and grows into tufts, but the shallots are identifiable by their cords, dark green leaves and the fine and black stems.
From China, the Allium fistulosum spread to Japan, Asia and Europe, reaching England in the early 1600s, where it was called “Welsh onion”. Today, shallots are grown all over the world.
How to choose a shallots shop
The shallots are sold in bunches in the products section of most supermarkets. When choosing a shallot it is always best to look for those with company, curly and smooth leaves, and with the immaculate white of the stems. Avoid any bunches with leaves and withered stems that have begun to turn yellow. To clean and preserve the shallots, remove the rubber band, rinse thoroughly with cold running water and dry with absorbent paper. Wrap the shallots in a slightly damp paper towel and keep in a resealable plastic bag or container in the refrigerator.