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Oil Free Green Onion Noodles

Here by popular request: Oil Free Green Onion Noodles! Inspired by Green Onion Oil Noodles (Cong You Mian AKA Scallion Oil Noodles), this recipe keeps the sweet crispy green onion threads among seasoned soy sauce coated noodles; hence the essence of the original dish is preserved. And you’ll love how easy and quick it is to make!

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Video Tutorial For Oil Free Green Onion Noodles

Green Onion Oil Noodles VS Oil Free Green Onion Noodles

I absolutely love Green Onion Oil Noodles but it’s always nice to have an oil-free option. Whether you reasons are health-related, taste-related, or because you’re low on cooking oil and don’t want to go to the store, this oil-free scallion noodle recipe was made for you!

What are Green Onion Oil Noodles

If you’re new to Green Onion Oil Noodles, they are made by cooking green onions in oil until they are crispy and sweet. The oil becomes infused with their aromatic flavour, then is seasoned further with regular and dark soy sauce plus a little sugar. Then cooked Chinese wheat noodles are thoroughly tossed in the sauce and enjoyed right away.

pan full of green onion spaghetti

Green Onion Oil Noodles with Less Oil

You can certainly make the dish with less oil by removing some of the green onion oil from the pan before adding the soy sauce and sugar. Then you can use the green onion oil in other cooking. For example, it’s lovely to drizzle on steamed or cold soft tofu (delicious!).

If you lower the oil content in this way, the crispy green onion threads will have the distinct flavour that only comes from cooking in oil and will be thoroughly crispy throughout. They are sweet and crackly; just delectable. If you are just looking for a lower oil option, this is the route I recommend. But if you want a totally oil-free option (or are just a curious foodie such as myself), please read on!

What are Oil Free Green Onion Noodles like then?

While not exactly the same, Oil Free Green Onion Noodles are simple but absolutely satisfying! You still get the textural contrast of slippery noodles and crispy green onion threads. And beautiful flavour from the soy sauces and a sweet onion bump from extra onion powder.

To get into more detail, we use the same fresh green onions, julienned, then cooked until crispy. However, without oil the flavour is not quite as sweet. And without oil as the heat-transferring medium, they don’t crisp up quite as evenly and can burn easily. Not to worry, we will mitigate these challenges! By the end of this recipe, you will indeed have sweet crispy green onion threads aplenty!

Also, instead of an oil-based sauce, we skip to regular and dark soy sauce plus a little sweetener (sugar or sugar-free sweetener). And to replace the flavour from green onion infused oil, this is where we’ll add our hit of onion powder. 

What type of Noodles to use?

Cong You Mian, the dish that inspired this recipe, is typically made with Chinese wheat noodles. However, for convenience sake, I usually use spaghetti noodles. They are close enough for me! So with that spirit, use whatever noodles you love or just have handy. Other examples of noodles you can use include:

  • Other pasta noodles like Fettuccine,
  • Alkaline noodles (like the ones used in ramen),
  • Sweet potato starch noodles (gluten-free),
  • Rice Vermicelli (gluten-free)

These are your Oil Free Green Onion Noodles and there are no rules!

How to Make Oil Free Green Onion Noodles

You can make Oil Free Green Onion Noodles easily in about 35 minutes. First, preheat your oven to 350°F. Also, cook your noodles according to the package instructions. While they cook, you can prepare the green onions and other ingredients.

Prep Green Onions and other Ingredients

Clean and remove the root ends from one bunch of green onions (100g). Dry them thoroughly with a clean kitchen towel. Then, cut the dark green parts away from the white parts. Slice them lengthwise. Then slice again down each middle to make long strips.

Take extra care to make the threads as even as you can and separate the layers.

Then, spread out the white green onion threads onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Repeat with the dark green parts. 

Sauce Ingredients

The rest of the ingredients just need to be measured out:

  • 2 to 3 teaspoons regular or light soy sauce,
  •  1 tablespoon dark soy sauce, 
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (or 2 teaspoons low-carb sweetener)
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon onion powder

If it’s your first time making this recipe, I would err on the side of less seasoned. That is, use 2 teaspoons of light soy sauce and ¼ teaspoons of onion powder at first. Then at the end of the cooking process, you can taste and adjust these two ingredients. I love the recipe with the full amounts but it is quite onion-y!

Also, if you prefer to use low-carb sweetener (like I do most days), I find that 2 teaspoons of Lakanto monkfruit and erythritol sweetener tastes best (as opposed to a full tablespoon).

On the subject of customizing your oil free green onion noodles, you can replace the regular and dark soy sauces with gluten-free tamari for a gluten-free option.

Make Crispy Green Onion Threads

When your oven is fully preheated, bake the fresh green onion threads for 12 to 15 minutes. Towards the end of this baking time, keep your eye on them. The green onion threads can go from just perfectly dried and crisp to burnt in minutes.

And on the subject of burnt green onion threads, you want to avoid them at all costs! Crisp dry green onions are sweet and delicious. Burnt green onions are bitter.

So if most of the green onion threads are dry and crisp but you still have some limpy threads, just take them all out of the oven. You can let them sit on the baking pan at room temperature and they will continue to dry out a bit over the next ten minutes. 

During the rounds of recipe testing, the humidity was between 34% and 38%, and about 90% of the green onion threads still became completely dry and crispy. It’s okay if a few aren’t fully crisp. Later you will divide the green onion threads into two piles: one to fold into the noodles and one to top the finished dish. So save the limpy threads for folding into the noodles.

Drain the noodles

While the green onions are in the oven, don’t forget to check on your noodles! When they are cooked to your preference (or slightly undercooked), drain them and set aside. Don’t worry if the noodles stick together; the sauce will take care of that later.

Make the Seasoned Soy Sauce

In a wide pan, combine ¼ cup water, regular and dark soy sauces, sugar or sweetener. Let it come to a simmer and cook until the sugar/sweetener is completely dissolved. 

Finish the dish!

Add the cooked noodles to the pan of seasoned soy sauce and mix thoroughly. When most of the liquid has been absorbed, sprinkle over the onion powder. Add half of the crispy green onion threads (including any of the limpy green onion threads) and mix again. Serve the noodles with the remaining crispy green onions on top and enjoy!

As with regular green onion noodles, these noodles are wonderful just as is. But as an unrepentant tinkerer, I cannot resist adding a little white pepper. And as with most Chinese-style dishes, a little toasted sesame oil will take it to the next level. Since toasted sesame oil is super fragrant, a literal drop or two is all it takes! 

Whether you keep this oil-free green onion noodle dish minimal or not, I hope you enjoy it and let me know how it went for you!

Printable Recipe for Oil Free Green Onion Noodles

Yield: 2 servings

Oil Free Green Onion Noodles

Oil Free Green Onion Noodles

The simplicity of sweet oven-crisped green onions with seasoned soy sauce noodles will make these Oil Free Green Onion Noodles a staple dish! Inspired by Chinese Green Onion Oil Noodles (Cong You Mian), this is Asian comfort food adapted for Western pantries and grocery stores.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 170g dried spaghetti noodles or noodles of choice (6oz)
  • 100g green onions, about 1 bunch (3.5oz)
  • 60ml water (¼ cup)
  • 2 - 3 teaspoons soy sauce, regular or light
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or 2 teaspoons monkfruit/erythritol sweetener
  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon onion powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Also, cook the spaghetti or noodles of choice according to package instructions to your preferred doneness. Drain the noodles well and set aside.
  2. While the noodles are cooking, clean and remove the root ends from the green onions. Dry them, then cut the dark green parts away from the white parts. Slice them lengthwise to create threads. Take extra care to make the threads as even as you can and separate the layers.
  3. Transfer the green onion threads onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread them out evenly. When the oven is fully preheated, bake on the middle rack for 12 to 15 minutes until the threads are mostly crisp but not browned. A few brown edges are ok but don’t let it go further. They will become bitter if left to brown/burn so keep a close eye.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven and let sit at room temperature. The green onions will continue to crisp over the next ten minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a wide pan, combine water, 2 teaspoons regular soy sauce, the dark soy sauce, and sugar or sweetener. Let it come to a simmer and cook until the sugar/sweetener is completely dissolved. 
  6. Add the cooked noodles to the pan of seasoned soy sauce and mix thoroughly for a minute or two. When most of the liquid has been absorbed, sprinkle over ¼ to ½ tsp onion powder. You can taste and adjust the soy sauce and onion powder at this point.
  7.  Add half of the crispy green onion threads (including any not-yet-crisp green onion threads) and mix again. Serve the noodles with the remaining crispy green onions on top and enjoy!

Notes

Gluten-free

Make this recipe gluten-free by replacing regular and dark soy sauces with gluten-free tamari. And choose gluten-free noodles.

Humidity & Crisping Green Onions

This recipe is perfect for drier days. After baking the green onion threads, about half came out perfectly crisp. After letting the whole pan rest for 10 minutes, about 80% became crisp. Use the less crispy/limpy threads for folding in the spaghetti and use the most crispy ones for the topping. By the way, when recipe testing, the humidity was between 34 and 38%.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 280Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 893mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 4gSugar: 9gProtein: 10g

Nutritional Information automatically calculated by a plugin and may not be correct.

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