Vietnamese Scallion Oil

Vietnamese cuisine is renowned for its vibrant, fresh flavors and presentation. With its stable balance of sweet, salty, spicy, and sour notes, no wonder people all around the world have fallen in love with this delicious cuisine.

Unfortunately for those of us who follow a plant-based diet, Vietnamese cuisine isn’t exactly the most suitable, but I’d say it’s not that difficult to replicate some of the dishes in a vegan or vegetarian format.

Today, we’re going to explore an essential component of Vietnamese cooking: scallion oil, which is a versatile condiment that is not only incredibly easy to make but also adds a burst of flavor to many dishes. And did I say it’s vegan?

Well, let’s dive into the world of Vietnamese cuisine and discover how to add this amazing condiment to your culinary repertoire.

vietnamese scallion oil

🧐 History and Origins of Scallion Oil

Scallions, also known as green onions or spring onions, have been a staple in Vietnamese cuisine for centuries.

These vibrant green and white shoots are often used to add depth and freshness to dishes, as they provide a delightful mix of mild onion and subtle garlic flavors.

But, as with many culinary traditions, the beauty of Vietnamese cuisine lies in transforming simple ingredients into something extraordinary.

The origin of scallion oil is deeply rooted in Vietnamese culture, where resourceful cooks would find innovative ways to use every part of their ingredients, so scallion oil was partially born from the desire to minimize waste while maximizing flavor, quickly becoming a beloved staple in many households.

In fact, one of the dishes that happens to contain scallion oil is one that I’ve also made in a separate article called Cơm Tấm Chay. It’s dish with made with a variety of meat substitutes (which is usually not my thing), but it turned out pretty food If I may say.

Nowadays, scallion oil has made its way into the hearts (and kitchens) of food lovers worldwide and is regarded as a versatile and appealing condiment that fits in both traditional and modern culinary creations.

🗒️ Ingredients and Tools You’ll Need

the only two ingredients you'll need to make scallion oil

Before we begin making our beloved scallion oil, let’s gather all the ingredients and tools we’ll need for this recipe.

The beauty of this condiment lies in its simplicity, requiring only a few basic items you may already have in your kitchen.


To make scallion oil, you’ll need:

  • Scallions: About 1/2 cup or 4 stalks of chopped scallions will do the trick. Look for fresh, vibrant green scallions with firm white bulbs. The fresher they are, the more delicious the scallion oil.
  • Vegetable Oil: Use 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil, we have used sunflower oil, or feel free to use any other oil with a neutral flavor. Avoid using strong-flavored oils like olive oil or coconut oil as they’ll drastically alter the recipe’s intended flavor.
  • Salt: Although this is optional, a pinch of salt can help enhance the natural flavors of the scallions. It certainly makes it tastier.


Now that we have our ingredients ready, let’s also make sure we’ve got the necessary tools to make scallion oil:

  • Knife and cutting board: Use a sharp knife and a stable cutting board that allows you to easily slice the scallions thinly and evenly.
  • Small saucepan: Pick a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan for even heat distribution, which will help prevent the scallions from burning during cooking.
  • Heat-resistant container: Given that you might transfer into a small container, choose one that is heat-resistant like a thick glass or ceramic container. Otherwise, you risk breaking the container.

👨🏻‍🍳 How to Make Vietnamese Scallion Oil

scallion oil next to some vegan broken rice

Now that we have our ingredients and tools ready, let’s dive into making our fresh, aromatic scallion oil.

It’s a really simple process, and it shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes.

Begin by washing and gently patting dry the scallions to remove any dirt or debris. It’s important to keep those vibrant colors intact!

Using a sharp knife and a stable cutting board, chop the scallions into thin, even slices, as it will help release the aromas and ensure they cook evenly.

Now, in a small saucepan, heat some oil over low to medium heat, and gently add the chopped scallions, stirring them to ensure they’re evenly coated in oil.

Let the scallions cook, stirring occasionally, until they become fragrant and lightly golden.

This process should take 3-4 minutes, but it’s important to keep in mind that every stove is different, so keep an eye on the scallions and don’t let ’em burn.

When your scallions are finally golden and aromatic, carefully transfer the scallion oil to a heat-resistant container. And voilá, it’s done!

❓Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use any type of oil for this recipe?

Certainly! We recommend using a neutral oil for its mild flavor, we have used sunflower oil but feel free to get creative and experiment with other types of oil such as canola, sesame, or grapeseed oil.

How long can I store scallion oil?

You can store the scallion oil in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Be sure to let it cool completely before sealing and storing it to keep it fresh and fragrant.

My scallion oil turned out quite strong. How can I mellow it down?

If your scallion oil has a stronger flavor than you’d like, dilute it with a bit more neutral oil.

Can I add other herbs or spices to my scallion oil?

Absolutely! Let your inner chef shine and experiment with additional herbs or spices, such as garlic, ginger, or even a touch of red chili pepper. This might make your scallion oil a tad more unique.

Can I incorporate scallion oil in non-Vietnamese dishes?

Yes, scallion oil is a versatile condiment, and you can use it to enhance the flavor of a variety of dishes. Drizzle it over salads, roasted vegetables, or even as a dipping sauce for bread! The possibilities are endless.

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vietnamese scallion oil

Vietnamese Scallion Oil

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  • Author: Alexandre Valente
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


An essential condiment in Vietnamese cuisine, scallion oil adds fragrancy and vibrance to the simplest of dishes. It’s simple and easy to replicate, but it fits with so many dishes.


Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup of scallions
  • 3 tbsps of vegetable oil
  • 1 pinch of salt


  • Wash and dry scallions. Chop them into thin and even slices.
  • Heat the vegetable oil over low-medium heat in a small saucepan.
  • Add the chopped scallions and stir occasionally until fragrant and lightly golden. (Should take about 3-4 minutes)
  • Carefully transfer the scallion oil into heat-resistant container and let it cool before using it or storing it.
  • Prep Time: 2
  • Cook Time: 3
  • Category: Dressing
  • Cuisine: Vietnamese

🙏🏻 Before you go, I’ve got a favor to ask!

I’d love to get your feedback on this recipe! Feel free to leave a comment below detailing your experience— and let others know how you feel about it!

Of course, you can also ask any questions you may have about the recipe— and we’ll try to respond ASAP.

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