Thursday, 27 September 2007

WHB #102: What tastes like onion but doesn't make you cry?

For this week's WHB #102, hosted by Ulrike at Küchenlatein, I would like to highlight onion sprouts. Many of you would have seen this before. It's commonly used as a garnish for meals at fancy bistros or in a sandwich. I rediscovered this sprout recently while I was looking for something else at the green grocer.

Onion Sprouts

Let's have a closer look... it reminded me of Medusa's serpent hair...

Trio of Onion Sprouts

Onion sprouts are pale to bright green or sometimes yellowish sprouts with a black seed and a distinct onion aroma.

Taste - Eaten raw, it is somewhat crunchy and has a spicy, slightly acidic taste. The onion flavour is delicate but unmistakable. If you like eating raw onions but don't like having onion breath, then this will be a good substitute :-)

Nutritional Value - Sprouts are freshly germinated edible seeds such as beans, grains and nuts. As a 'living' food, Sprouts continue to grow vitamins after being harvested. Onion sprouts are a good source of vitamin A, B group vitamins, iodine, phosphorous and potassium.

Storage - Sprouts must be kept refrigerated. Correctly stored, sprouts should have a shelf life of 7 to 10 days. If they are rinsed every few days they will stay fresh for a considerable time.

You can read more about onion sprouts here, here and here.

This week, I used onion sprouts as one of the main ingredients in the Onion Sprouts and Avocado Omelette. I've also used it in a supporting role (garnish on my laksa, for another post).

Onion Sprouts and Avocado Omelette

3 eggs (I used 1 egg yolk & 3 egg whites)
a few splashes of milk
bunch of onion sprouts
1/8-1/4 avocado, chopped
salt & pepper

- In a bowl, whisk eggs with milk, salt and pepper.
- Over medium heat, pour the egg mixture into a non-stick pan.
- When the bottom of the omelette is starting to brown but the top is still uncooked, place the onion sprouts and the chopped avocado on one side of the omelette (see photo below).
- Flip the other side of the omelette onto the onion spouts & avocado side. Allow omelette to cook for another minute and serve immediately.

ta-dah! I served the omelette with rocket, carrot and a dollop of sour cream.

Oh, before you go, I wanted to show you my nifty egg separator gadget. It saved me from getting very frustrated many times. I won’t even go into how many tears I’ve shed when I’ve broken a yolk in a bowl of eggs whites when I was preparing to make pavlova/meringues.

On last thing, an interesting tidbit about onions and crying:
I read somewhere that chewing gum while chopping onions will prevent you from crying. If you try that, let me know if it works.


Lucy said...

Beautiful photos Nora - I love sprouts, especially onion ones, but haven't had them for an age!

This looks perfect - great egg gadget!

KellytheCulinarian said...

I love onion sprouts on my salads. They add a great flavor without giving you horrible breath for the rest of the day!

winedeb said...

Nora, this is too fun! I love this post! Onion sprouts - now I have not seen them here yet. Sound yum! I never think of paring an omlet with whatever. I need to get my act together! All looks lovely!

Big Boys Oven said...

This dish look so effortless and so slick....and also so refreshing.

Anh said...

I love your egg gadget! I have to get one myself!

And I love the4 look of your omlette, too. So tasty!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

It certainly does sound delicious Nora! I must lead a sheltered life because I have never seen onion sprouts. I can imagine them to have a mild onion flavour.We have pea shoots, alfalfa sprouts, bean sprouts, but no onion least not yet!!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I've never cooked with onion sprouts -- in fact, I can't think if I've ever seen them except in restaurants. I'm looking forward to trying this recipe!

Cynthia said...

They are pretty aren't they - the onion sprouts. Really make for an attractive garnish.

KJ said...

OOOOOh what a neat egg gadget. I will have to keep an eye out for one of those.

Your omelette looks delicious. I could do with one of those for dinner right now. I will have to settle for left over spaghetti bolognese instead.

Abitofafoodie said...

I love the look of this - I have never seen onion sprouts and have never thought of putting avocado in an omelette. What a good idea. Sounds delicious.
Haven't heard the chewing gun theory before, but some say sucking a metal teaspoon helps. So does wearing sunglasses or glasses - an extra barrier between the onion and the eyes.

Anonymous said...

This is the first time I'd heard of these things. Thanks for the info.

Anonymous said...

I think I've had this in a sandwich before - I really do like the taste. Looks like I'll be hunting this down in the supermarket. Great idea to put it in an omelette

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your WHB entry, I've sprouted a lot of seeds, but never onions. Now I am trying to sprout hemp :-)

Aimée said...

My mum always grew sprouts and gave them to us as kids. That was in the Yukon when we didn't see the sun for several months. It was always nice to have some greenery in the winter!
You omelet looks healthy and delicious!

Belinda said...

Nora, the onion sprouts are so cute! I've never seen them of the perils of living in a small town is that any even slightly unusual ingredient involves a treasure hunt to track down. :-) Your omelet creation looks terrific, what a great combination of ingredients you've put together!

Katie Zeller said...

I want those!!!!!
I've never seen them but I want them! In that omlet!

The chewing gum didn't work for me.

Love your egg gadget! I can't seperate eggs using the shell to shell method here because my eggs, have, um, feathers and, uh, stuff on them... they're not washed...

Susan said...

Oh, Nora, your sprouts are so much prettier than Medusa's do, and better behaved, too. : ) Lovely, little light meal you have there.

An egg separator? So THAT's what that thing was in my husband's kitchen drawer! I threw it out when I moved in. LOL!

Wendy said...

???? I've never seen or heard of these before. Quite excited. Assume I can grow these myself!
Great post!

Nora B. said...

Lucy - Thanks. It was rather hard to take photos of these sprouts. They didn't want to behave the way I wanted them too!

Kelly M - It certainly makes salads more interesting.

Deb - Thanks :-) This omelette was so easy to make and yet quite special.

BBOven - Thanks. You're right, the combination of flavours was refreshing.

Anh & KJ - This egg separator should be easy to find and it was very affordable. I think I paid less than $5 for it at a discount kitchen ware place. Be sure to get this particular one because it's hands free - it fits on most bowls. I don't understand why anyone would buy the other type which requires you to hold the handle - how can you crack and egg and try to hold it at the same time??!

Valli - maybe you can be the first in your neighborhood to grow some! :-)

Lydia - It's such a snob, this shoot, only wanting to be in restaurants ;-) It's great to have around, it adds an interesting layer of flavours to many things without being overwhelming.

Cynthia - They are pretty and so different from the other spouts.

Antonia - Thanks. I've put all kinds of things in my omelette. ;-)

Rhea - Thanks for dropping by my blog. I didn't realise that so many people had never seen or heard of onion sprouts before.

Veron - It's such a versatile sprout. Have fun experimenting!

Ulrike - Spout hemp! sounds like fun!

Aimée - It must have been fun for you and your siblings to see the sprouts growing. Back in elementary school in Singapore, we all had to grow green bean spouts as part of our science class. It was heaps of fun. Yes, this meal was light and satisfying.

Belinda - Thank you. I can related to what you are saying because when I am back in Singapore, there are certain things that I take for granted would be easy to find (in Sydney) which is less common there. I basically can't assume anything!

Katie - oh yes, your eggs are au naturel. Then you would definitely find this gadget very handy. Plus, it's hands free - it fits on most bowls.

Susan - The sprouts were not very co-operative when I tried to take photos. oooh, I hope your husband didn't know that you did that! ;-)

Wendy - Thanks. I am assuming that you can grow it yourself - have a look at one of the links I've put in my post. It would be fun to grow some.

Anonymous said...

Have not heard of onion sprouts but these are so similar to alfafa just that the sprout heads are black? :O

Incidentally, I've also got medusa mentioned in my abalone post! LOL! Good gracious medusa got credited twice for food.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Mmm...I'd like a piece of that "Medusa's hair" omelette. I've only had sprouts on my salads and in wraps, so thanks for the idea! By the way, re:the crying and onions, I don't know about the gum, but I do know that running the sliced onion under warm-to-hot water for about a minute helps and it removes some its overwhelming pungency.

Brilynn said...

The sprouts are so pretty, and that omelette sounds great!

Nora B. said...

Tigerfish - We must have some sort to telepathic power between us - this is the second time this happened :-)

Susan - I like experimenting with food, omelettes included :-) As for crying, the onion I get these days are not like the old days - it doesn't seem as flavoursome and also don't seem to make me cry as much as it used to. Or maybe I've just more tolerant??

Brlynn - Yes, they are so pretty. :-)

East Meets West Kitchen said...

I love these onion sprouts!
Beautiful omelette!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

That looks so healthy and delicious too. Never heard of onion sprouts but they look really cool.

Will try the chewing gum trick.

Rosa said...

Oh, I love sprouts so much, I only wish I could find something other than alfalfa and mung bean here! I have tried to grow them myself, but without much luck.

Nora B. said...

East Meets West Kitchen - Thanks! So far these are my favourite sprouts.

Amanda - I thought they looked cool too, that's why I had to write about them. Do let me know if the chewing gum thing works because so far Katie's the only who tried and she said that it doesn't work. Maybe it's a myth.

Rosa - Thanks for dropping by. I would like to try growing them myself but i don't know where to get the seeds from. Will have to snoop around a bit more.

Anonymous said...

Fabulous! I love onions but have never heard of onion sprouts before. Now I have to try them. I hate to chop onions because of the tears and have never found anything that helps.

Anonymous said...

How interesting. I'll have to look for onion sprouts. Your omellete looks delicious.


bee said...

that is so fun and creative. loved this post.

Coffee and Vanilla said...

Hi Nora,
Those sprouts look amazing.
I have been trying to sprout beans myself but they have never grew big like those from the shop so after to attempts I resigned and I buy them now.
Have a wonderful weekend! :)

Kirsten said...

Wow - i haven't seen onion sprouts. They are beautiful and sound great.

Your omelette looks delicious - and very healthy.

Kajal@aapplemint said...

these sprouts do make a beautiful variation for the omlet and now that i've shared this with us , i'm wondering if i should grow some right away. Thanks for the links , will defi take a look.

Nora B. said...

Lynn - These sprouts would be good for you then. I hope you find them.

Paz - Thanks, Paz! I made them again today. I just felt like it. This time I squeezed a but of lemon on the avocados.

Bee - Thank you. It was fun thinking about what I could pair the onion sprouts with instead of using it as garnish.

Margot - Thank you. I think that growing sprouts is fun, especially if you have kids around. But I've also resorted to buying them from the store.

Kirsten - They do sound great. I prefer these to the other sprouts at the moment.

Kate - If you manage to grow some, let me know. I think several bloggers were also curious about growing them.

Shaun said...

Nora - What a beautiful omelette. My favorite sprouts are the radish variety - so peppery. I didn't know about the vitamin-production post harvest; an interesting fact to learn. I'm really grateful that you showed your egg separating gadget. Some days are good and others bad, but I hate separating eggs. I've read literature (yes, really) to see what I'm doing wrong, and I just can't get it right all the time. Maybe it's like dancing - some of us have rhythm, and others don't? I'm going to get one of these to make my cooking life less stressful. Cheers!

Kelly-Jane said...

I've never seen onion sprouts! Would definitely give them a go though :)

Your little gadget looks good too!

Paola Westbeek said...

Oh lovely! I never heard of these so this was a very instructive post, Nora! Thanks!


Truffle said...

I've never seen these before. What a fabulous post! I love the photos and recipe.

Anna Haight said...

Beautiful and delicious looking! We were both in sprout mood this week!

Anonymous said...

I didn't know about onion sprouts. Great info. I will have to try it out.

Kalyn Denny said...

I've never heard of onion sprouts, but I'm quite excited to try them now. They sound like they would be wonderful. Love the close-up photos.

Eva said...

Hi Nora, I'm back again from WA where I could only cook on a BBQ - your sprouts are exactly what I need right now! Never seen anything like it before, need to try it!

Pille said...

What a great idea to sprout onions!!

the cat's pajamas garden tours said...

I have tried onion sprouts and love them. What I'd like to know is how do you grow them at home? Can you send me in the right direction. I've checked out a few websites. One that scared me was a product recall for Woolworths. The sprouts were infected with a type of coli. is this because the hygine of the preparation was not up to scratch.