Crispy, shallow-fried wisps of shallot or scallion are the perfect condiment for most any ramen dish, lending a burst of salty crunch. Since they don't retain their crispiness for more than a few hours, don't prepare them too far in advance. But if you make them as the first step in your cooking, you'll be left with a shallot- or scallion-scented oil that can be strained and repurposed in other elements of the meal. Cutting the shallots into uniformly thin rings is important, so that they all cook at the same rate. A mandoline is the tool to use.

Makes about 1/2 cup


  • 3 medium shallots, or 1/2 bunch scallions
  • Neutral-tasting oil
  • Fine sea salt


    If using shallots, peel then slice into very thin rings using a mandoline.

    If using scallions, trim the ends off the scallions, then cut into 2- to 3-inch lengths. Cut each piece in half lengthwise. Lay the flat surface down on the cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut these segments into thin matchsticks.

    Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a small skillet, or saucepan, over medium heat. Test the temperature by adding a piece of shallot or scallion—it should sizzle on contact. Add the vegetables and cook, stirring frequently, until reddish brown all over, 6 to 12 minutes. Watch closely, as they can quickly burn toward the end.

    Use a spider skimmer, or a slotted spoon, to transfer them to a paper-towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and let cool completely. Use within a few hours.

    To save and repurpose the oil, strain it into a clean container through a few layers of cheesecloth to catch any solids. The oil can be kept for up to 1 week.

    Text excerpted from BOWL © 2016, by Lukas Volger. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

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