Kao Xiang Cong (Grilled Scallion Skewers)
Double-skewering scallions ensures they don’t fall through grill grates and allows for easier basting and flipping. This recipe first appeared in our June/July 2013 issue with Lillian Chou’s article Fire in the Belly.
- 1 1⁄2 lb. large scallions, trimmed and cut into 5″ pieces
- 12 (6″) wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1⁄2 tsp. ground white pepper
- 1⁄4 cup oyster sauce
- 3 tbsp. peanut oil
- 1 tbsp. red fermented tofu
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. black vinegar
- 1 tsp. hot sesame chile oil
- 1 tsp. tomato paste
- 1⁄4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
- Working in batches, thread about 5 scallions onto 2 skewers. Mix ½ tsp. sugar, 1 tsp. salt, and white pepper in a bowl; set sugar seasoning aside. Bring remaining sugar, plus oyster sauce, 1 tbsp. peanut oil, fermented tofu, soy sauce, black vinegar, hot sesame chile oil, tomato paste, black pepper, and 2 tbsp. water to a simmer in a 1-qt. saucepan. Cook, until sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute; let sauce cool.
- Heat a charcoal grill or set a gas grill to high; bank coals or turn off burner on one side (see How to Cook on a Grill). Brush scallions with remaining peanut oil and sprinkle with sugar seasoning. Grill scallions on hottest part of grill, brushing often with sauce and turning as needed, until slightly charred and tender, 8-10 minutes; garnish with sesame seeds.