Were I not fairly certain that doing this would elicit more than a few odd glances (and if it lasted more than a day or two), I would make an enormous batch of David Chang’s ginger scallion sauce, dole it out into quart-sized containers and give it to people as holiday gifts. While not nearly as festive as a plate of Christmas cookies, I would dare any recipient to not fall for this sauce/condiment at first bite. It goes with virtually anything we’ve paired it with so far, from ramen to rice noodles to hanger steak; it’s rather economical to make over and over again once you’ve purchased a good supply of grapeseed oil, sherry vinegar and soy sauce; if you get the right kind of soy sauce (Tamari), it’s virtually gluten-free. Sure, the sodium content is higher than some would like, but it’s not so bad so long as you avoid eating the whole bowl yourself in one sitting.
It doesn’t help that it is all too tempting to do this, but self-restraint, people: show some and your forbearance will be rewarded.
The one downside to making this sauce is that you absolutely must mince the ginger if you want the full flavor effect that Chang promises. The first time I made it I went the Microplane route and grated it and while it did give the sauce flavor, it wasn’t as bold as I was expecting. (If you aren’t a huge fan of ginger but still want to try this, I would recommend going this route first and then adding more as necessary.) This time I took my half-hand of garlic, peeled most of it, nicked my left ring finger, wrapped said finger in a napkin to stem the bleeding and did my worst with the chef’s knife. Finely mincing ginger is a pain thanks to how fibrous it is, but breaking the hand into small, stable chunks made the task significantly easier, bleeding finger be damned.
The perils of mincing ginger aside, everything else comes together pretty smoothly and quickly, and the toughest part of it all might be letting the sauce sit for 15 to 20 minutes to get really good and, you know, not eat it all prior to the meal. I’ll be sharing this with my in-laws in a few days for Christmas Eve dinner (seven fishes FTW!), and in the meantime, I’ll share the recipe here with you.
Have a wonderful holiday!
makes 3 cups
- 2 bunches scallions, sliced thinly
- 1/2 cup fresh ginger, peeled and then minced finely
- 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
- 1 1/2 tsp usukuchi (light soy sauce) or tamari if you want a gluten-free option
- 3/4 tsp sherry vinegar
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste if needed
Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, stir well to combine, and then taste to adjust salt and vinegar levels. Add more salt if necessary, then let sit (undisturbed, otherwise you’ll eat the whole damn bowl) for 15-20 minutes. Will keep for up to a day in the fridge.