Spring onions, also called scallions, green onions or Chinese onions, area variety of onions that have along green stalk coming out of a tiny white bulb. They are great for adding a more subtle flavor than white or yellow onions salads or other dishes.

You can eat both the white base and the green stalks. The stalks are hollow and tubular leaves, which are eaten both raw and cooked. The white part of the scallion is usually very small as compared to a normal onion because scallions are harvested when they are still young.

cut spring onions
Learn different ways to cut spring onions

Many of you will agree if we say that you might be very particular about the way your veggies are chopped. Spring onions are sliced in different ways, depending upon how it will be used. They can also be cut into spectacular shapes to decorate your food. It is the most effortless garnish any vegetable could offer you.

If you like a little onion flavor in your food but do not like the pungent smell of other types of onions, then green onions are your go-to option. However, the white part has a stronger flavor than the stalks.

Spring onions give a nice crunchiness to a salad. Throwing some finely chopped spring onions into a bowl of soup adds color to it and richness to the flavor.

We’ll explain how to chop spring onions in a few easy steps – for cooking as well as for garnishing.


Method 1: Short Slices

To chop the spring onions, firstly rinse the onions under normal water and remove any wilted parts. Also, chop-off the roots and the green leafy part before you start to slice the stalk.

Single-Step Method: Trim off the ends and cut the rest into small slices

spring onion slices
Cut the spring onions into small pieces after removing the roots
  • Cut the roots and the white bulbs off of all the spring onions.
  • Spread out the green stalks from 3 or 4 onions on the cutting board.
  • Cut and discard about 2 inches off the top of each stalk.
  • Hold the knife perpendicular to the stalks and start slicing them.
  • You can cut shorter pieces (about ½ inch) for stir-fries or bite-size pieces (about 2 inches) for adding to your salad.

Method 2: Medium Slices

Step 1. Cut off the roots at the bottom of the white bulbs

cut the roots
Chop-off the roots from the spring onions
  • Cut the roots off of all the stalks.
  • Also cut and discard about 2 inches off the top of each stalk.

Step 2. Cut the white bulbs and stems

cut the stem and bulb
Chop the spring onions lengthwise into medium slices lengthwise
  • Cut each white bulb and stem of each stalk into medium-size pieces (about 3 inches).
  • Then cut those pieces lengthwise into two halves.

Method 3: Diagonal Slices

If you are a fan of Chinese cuisines, this method to chop spring onions will work the best for you.

Step 1. Cut the roots off the bulbs

cut the roots off
Chop off the roots and the white bulb aside
  • Remove and discard the roots of the spring onions.
  • Cut 2 inches off the top of the green stalks.

 Step 2. Cut the onions diagonally

cut spring onions diagonally
Chop the spring onions diagonally and use it for stir fry
  • Remove the bulbous portion and set it aside for other cooking purposes.
  • Make diagonal cuts parallel to each other along the stem and green stalks.
  • Diagonally chop spring onions can be used to decorate a salad or other dishes.

Method 4: Curls (For Garnishing)

Cutting the scallion by holding it at an extremely slanted angle or even parallel to the length of the knife will give you spring onion curls, also called scallion hair, that serves as a very delicate-looking garnish.

Things you’ll need:

things you ll need to chopp spring onions
Items required to chop spring onions for garnishing
  • Spring onions
  • Ice water
  • Cutting board and knife
  • Paper towel

Step 1. Cut the long green shafts into equal sizes

cut the shafts
Cut the stalk into smaller pieces
  • Cut the white bulbs off of the onions. You can use them for other cooking purposes.
  • Now cut only the green hollow stalks into equal parts or sizes.

Step 2. Slice the cut pieces lengthwise

slice the cut pieces
Make thin slices lengthwise from the cut stalk
  • Holding the knife parallel to the length of the stalk, slice the piece into thin slivers.
  • Cut all the pieces in a similar fashion.

Step 3. Put the sliced onions into a bowl of ice water

put sliced onions in ice water
Put the sliced slivers in ice water
  • Place all the thinly sliced slivers of the green stalks into a bowl filled with ice water.
  • Swirl it once to make sure all the slices are submerged fully.
  • Let it sit for 5 to 7 minutes. The slivers will curl up automatically.

Step 4. Spread them out on a paper towel to dry

spread them out on paper towel
Dry the sliced onion and use it for garnishing
  • Remove the slices from the ice water and place them on a paper towel to dry.
  • Your scallion hair or curls are ready to garnish your food.

Method 5: Flowers (For Garnishing)

Spring onion flowers, or brushes, are not as difficult as they seem at first glance. All you have to do is be aware of the size of the slit you’re making on the scallion. You’ll need only the white stem of the onion, not the bulb or the green stalk.

Things you’ll need:

things needed to chop spring onions
Things needed to cut spring onions for garnishing
  • Spring onions
  • Ice water
  • Knife
  • Cutting board and knife

Step 1. Cut off the green stalks and the white bulb

cut stalk into equal sizes
Seperate the bulb, stalk and the leafy part
  • Cut off and set aside the green leafy part and the white bulb.
  • You’ll now be left with approximately 3 inches ofthe white stem.
  • If you want, you can choose not to cut off the bulbous part.

Step 2. Cut lengthwise slits into the stem

slice the cut pieces
Finely put thin slits on the stalk lengthwise
  • Cut a lengthwise slit that goes about one-third of the way into the white stem.
  • Rotate the stem 90 degrees and make another cut of the same size.
  • Repeat the slitting if you want more frills.
  • Do the same for the other end, if you want frills on both sides.

Step 3. Drop the slit pieces into a bowl of ice water

put sliced spring onions in ice water
Put the slit stems in ice water and let them curl
  • Submerge the slit stems into a bowl of ice water.
  • Allow them to sit for 1 hour.
  • Your split-cut stems will curl into frilly flowers or brushes that make a nice garnish.

Method 6: Minced (For Garnishing)

Mincing is something you would generally do to your other veggies as well. But you’ll have to make sure that you don’t cut the leaves in a downward motion, which would only crush the green tubular leaves. Instead, do a backward slide which would be a horizontal movement, or simply put, slicing.

Things you’ll need:

things you need
Things required to mince spring onions
  • Scallions
  • Knife

Single-Step Method: Slice 3 or 4 scallion stalks

finely chop the spring onions
Garnish your food with finely minced spring onions
  • Put 3, or 4 spring onion stalks down in a single layer, rather than stacking them on top of each other.
  • Place the tip of your knife on the cutting board, with the knife in a perpendicular position.
  • Now slide the knife over the horizontally placed scallions.
  • Repeat this until you’re done with the entire length of the stalks.


  • Before slicing spring onions, make sure you rinse them under running water.
  • Remove the slimy skin on the white bulb, if any.
  • Spring onions do not last as long as other onions, so use them within 4 to 5 days.
  • Store them in a porous bag.
  • Always trim 2 inches from the top of the green stalks and the roots off the bottom before slicing the onions.
  • You can also learn how to clean and cut mushroom here.