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What exactly is negi?


Hassouni
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I know the translation is Welsh onion, but that doesn't really mean anything to me. From an American/European supermarket standpoint, are they closer to scallions/green onions, or leeks? My local Korean supermarket has 3 such items - regular scallions, big western style leeks, and then something that looks like a cross between the two, like a very slender, very long leek, or a fat, long scallion. No idea what they call it in Korean, but does that sound like negi?

Also, are negi used instead of leeks and scallions in traditional Japanese cooking, or alongside?

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I'm pretty sure it's the third...long very slender leeks or scallions on steriods :laugh: ...

I think both scallions and their larger counterparts are used. Don't know about leeks though.

If you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry? ~Author Unknown

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I just found out that scallions have a native Japanese name (wakegi) but leeks are just called leeks (リーキ), which suggests that they aren't so traditional.

(edited to say, for those that may post links in Japanese: no, I don't really speak Japanese, only a little bit, and I only know hiragana and katakana, and a few kanji.)

Edited by Hassouni (log)
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Based on the negi that I get here in California, anyway (imported from Japan), the green part is tougher than a green onion, but softer than a leek. I would say that the white part is maybe a little more sharp tasting than leek, but I could be wrong. Overall, it really is kind of in between the two, but maybe a bit more like a green onion.

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I've noticed on Hiroyuki's personal blog (hiro-shio.blogspot.com/) he adds naga negi to a lot of dishes, without reference to "regular" negi if there is such a thing.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Tamanegi = onion. Tama = ball. Naga = long. Ao = blue (no, green ! **), and aonegi is what they call the negi tops when they're chopped fine.

** cf a blue traffic light, which means go.

Also, spring onions are asatsuki, and I've never heard a chive called anything except "chaibu", but my dictionary suggests they can also be called "ezonegi".

Edited by Blether (log)

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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  • 2 years later...

I know the translation is Welsh onion, but that doesn't really mean anything to me. From an American/European supermarket standpoint, are they closer to scallions/green onions, or leeks? My local Korean supermarket has 3 such items - regular scallions, big western style leeks, and then something that looks like a cross between the two, like a very slender, very long leek, or a fat, long scallion. No idea what they call it in Korean, but does that sound like negi?

Also, are negi used instead of leeks and scallions in traditional Japanese cooking, or alongside?

There are different types of scallions. The type you're talking about might be called Tokyo Negi. Bigger & longer than traditional negi (scallions), but don't really have a bulb at the end.. kind of like a leek. 

There's also something called Tokyo Turnips, they're little baby turnips. Sometimes the different names just refer to the size. 

Sometimes vegetables just change based on where they're grown. 

Hope this helped. Sorry for the late reply. Was browsing around & stumbled into this old thread. 

 

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  • 2 years later...

Negi in my experience are between scallions and leeks in size. The white part seems to be about as tender as scallions/green onions, not nearly as tough as leeks. They are more pungent than both though, almost as pungent as a regular white bulb onion.

 

I grew some this year in Portland, Oregon with seeds that I bought on my trip to Japan last year. Started around February inside and then transplanted. They were a good size by June, ready to harvest. I've been pulling them out as needed and since June they have divided into 2-3 small stalks rather than one nice one. I know that Kitazawa has several varieties for sale and there may be some other online seed dealers.

 

I'd suggest growing some if you can as there are definitely a different product from any other types of onions we have here in the west and are essential for some Japanese dishes.

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