In season early autumn: Spring onions

Spring onions are harvested before a bulb forms, and have a white base and several long, hollow green shoots.


Avoid any shoots which are wilted or damaged – look for crisp, green shoots.


Store in an airtight plastic bag in the crisper for up to seven days and to use, trim roots, wash, and slice horizontally or diagonally.


Spring onions, other onions and garlic are members of the allium family which contains organosulphide compounds not found in other plants. These compounds appear to have a wide range of beneficial effects on our health and in particular may help reduce the incidence of gastric and colon cancer.

Using spring onions

Spring onions are milder than most onions and work well in all kinds of salads, including coleslaw, tabouli, lentil salad and Asian salads. Use spring onions over other onions in sandwiches to avoid having ‘onion breath’ at work! As a subtle, tasty complement to eggs, add finely sliced spring onion to scrambled eggs, omelettes, fritters and frittatas.

Did you know? Spring onions are the only member of the onion family commonly used in Japanese cooking.

First published: Mar 2010
Last updated: August 14 2018
Last science review: September 27 2016

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