How to Make Curly Green Onion Garnish

How many times have you just pushed aside that little sprig of herb garnish the chef throws on? The garnish provides a little flair and color to a dish (and if I’m paying $24 for an entree, it better have flair).


Thrifty Asians know better than to just flick off the garnish, we eat it! Carrot cut with Japanese vegetable cutters, radishes carved into chrysanthemums or daikon artfully chiseled into a swan are all eaten. The exception would be the fake green grass that separates your wasabi from your sushi (ewww).


One of the most popular Asian garnish is green onion – which adds crunch and a hint of onion-y spiciness to a recipe. I really shouldn’t call it garnish – it’s more a “topping” than anything.

To make super-curly green onion, the secret is ice water.

How to Make Curly Green Onion Garnish Video

shrimp-avocado-bites-featured-9227Now that you know how to make these curly guys, try out this recipe for Wasabi Shrimp and Avocado Bites!


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Comments 18

  1. Michelle Ritchie | Delicious Karma

    This is terrific! Never knew how those curly green onions got that way (even though I know quite a bit about cooking!). Thanks for sharing…and a great video tutorial. Are there any other garnishes (or “toppings”) that have little tricks like this one that are great / easy to use to give a dish flair that you like to recommend?

  2. Betty

    Jaden, I always like curly green onion on top of steamed fish or with mushu pork wrap and pork belly with steam buns.

  3. dena @ohyoucook

    Talk about great timing! Just came back from a vacation in Las Vegas, where at one of those horrendously expensive restaurants (not sure if I’m bragging or complaining here) I had sea bass topped with curly green onions. Was wondering how they made them. Thank you for sharing!

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  6. Maggie

    This method is amazing! I already tried several times, and it does let every dish look fancy!!
    Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚


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  9. David Kane

    This is a good tip, it’s pretty simple but many people do not know. My mother still do it this way, I’ve learned since I was younger. It helps a lot in cooking and food decoration.

  10. Leslie

    Hey – cool idea – and here is the science behind the curling. Each strip of onion green has cells with thick cell walls on one side, and cells with very thin and pliable cell walls on the other side. In the water, the thin-walled cells expand, but the thick-walled cells cannot (because of their thick cell walls). This introduces an asymmetry that results in the curl!

  11. Quintin porter

    Another way to make it curl, is to slice it very finely on an approx 30 degree angle and place it soda water. Just dont leave it in the soda water for more then about 2-3 hours because the onion will begin to deteriorate

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