Scallion season is short, so get them while you can and preserve them in salt. Once that is done, you can take your time to decide how you want to flavor them.


Scallions…2 lb (1 kg) (net*)
Coarse salt…4 oz (100 g)
Water…10 oz (300 ml)

Scallions (Rakkyo)

  • Removing the root, stem, and skin will reduce the weight of a scallion by 20% to 30%, so start with about 3 lb (1.4 kg).

<How to Make>

1 Soak the scallions in plenty of water (not included in the ingredients). Break the clumps into individual scallions and wash off all of the dirt. Remove the scallions from the water and let them dry outside in a shady location, or indoors.

2 Remove the roots. When you do this, cut off as little of the bulb as possible. Cutting too much off will cause the bulb to become too soft.

3 Remove the stems. Cut off the portion that is fibrous and tough.

4 Remove 1 layer of the outside skin. If a scallion is damaged, remove additional layers of skin until the damage is also removed.


5 Add the water and salt to a pot, bring it to a boil and then turn off the heat.

6 Put the scallions into the jar and add the cooled salt solution. Close the jar and keep it in a cool, dark place for about 2 weeks.

  • Release Gas
    As the scallions ferment, bubbles will form and the liquid may become cloudy. Neither of these developments is a problem. However, it is a good idea to periodically open the jar to release gas.

To prepare salted scallions for eating, take out as much as you would like and soak the scallions in plenty of water for 4 to 5 hours to reduce the salt.

When You Can’t Pickle Your Scallions Immediately
Scallions left unprocessed in any way will begin to grow. To prevent that, put the scallions into a saltwater solution that is 10% salt by weight and refrigerate them. The scallions will keep for 3 days in that condition.

  • How to Choose Scallions
    In Japan, scallions are available in May and June. Look for scallions that are plump, have not begun to grow (as indicated by a green extension on the stem), and have not been washed after harvesting. Also, avoid scallions that have been damaged or that have had the thin outside skin removed.

Recipe Developed by Machiko Tateno