Distinguishing Shallots from Spring Onions

Onions are a popular ingredient in recipes and salads across the world due to their flavor-enhancing properties. In some cultures, a meal is not complete without the addition of onions in some form. With numerous onion varieties and names like shallots, spring onions, and green onions, it can be confusing to differentiate between them. This article will focus on the differences between shallots and spring onions in terms of their physical features, taste, and usage.

Key Takeaways

  • Shallots are a variety of onions that belong to the family Allium Cepa, with a distinct flavor and texture, and a brownish or coppery skin.
  • Spring onions are mature green onions, often used in Chinese dishes, with a rounder and sweeter bulb than green onions.
  • Shallots are eaten both raw and in cooking, while spring onions are primarily used as salads and in soups and Chinese noodles.


While onions are widely used in Asian cultures, many people may not be aware that shallots also belong to the onion family, specifically the Allium Cepa family. Shallots have a unique flavor and texture that sets them apart from onions. They can be identified by their tapered or pointed base and a brownish or coppery skin, whereas onions have a more whitish and pinkish skin. Shallots have a sweeter taste than onions and are more similar to garlic in flavor. They grow in clusters of bulbs, while onions grow as individual bulbs per plant. Shallots are elongated in shape, while onions are more circular.

Spring Onions

Spring onions are actually mature green onions that are commonly used in Chinese dishes. They are long and slender with a white base and green tops. When the bulb has not yet fully developed, it is called a green onion. When the bulb is fully developed, it is referred to as a spring onion. Spring onions are also known as salad onions, and their bulbs are rounder and sweeter than those of green onions. In contrast to green onions, where the green tops are always used, the green tops of spring onions are rarely used due to their intense flavor.

It is not surprising to see people getting confused between various types of spring onions, as they have different names in different cultures, such as scallions, green onions, spring onions, salad onions, onion sticks, and more.

Difference Between Shallot and Spring Onion

  • Shallots have a coppery or brownish color, while spring onions are long and slender with white bases and green tops.
  • Shallots can be eaten raw or used in cooking, while spring onions are mainly used as salads.
  • Spring onions have a milder and sweeter taste compared to shallots.
  • Shallots require peeling before consumption, while spring onions can be washed and cut without peeling.
  • Spring onions are commonly used in soups and Chinese noodles.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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