Salted Scallions (Shima Rakkyo)

In Japan there is a type of scallion onion known as ‘shima rakkyo’ and is solely grown on the island of Okinawa. The Okinawans call them  ‘racchou’ or ‘dacchou’. These delightfully flavoured vegetables are harvested from March through to April. They are not the same as the typical scallion found on mainland japan called ‘rekkyo’. The onion is longer and thinner with a much more pungent aroma. It is eaten salted with beer and lager.

To eat these onions, the shima rakkyo is washed and the outer skin peeled off. The end of the roots and the green leaves are removed leaving the white shoot. The remaining stem of this onion is salted and served cold following overnight storage in a refrigerator. Apparently dried bonito flakes are added to reduce pungency and modify the flavour and taste. Another delightful way of serving this vegetable is to lightly fry it or deep fry it in the form of tempura. It can be served pickled and added to salads as a garnish.

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