Cebollitas is Spanish for little onions. “Asadas” means grilled. These babies are the go-to for accompanying grilled meats, not only in Mexico but elsewhere in Latin America as well. Their basically spring onions with large white bulbs. These onions become soft, fragrant, sweet, and caramelized with a salty-tangy flavor.
My first encounter with these was when on a family vacation to Cancun. Other than running into David Crosby at a shrimp shack overlooking his sailboat and visiting the incredible Mayan ruins at Tulum and Chichen Itza, the trip was missing something special. We were desperate to experience real local fare. So, loosely navigating into the nearby city, we came upon an outdoor restaurant with music blaring and smoke billowing from a huge open grill. We ordered plates of grilled meats with a side of grilled onions. What came out was not the soft onions slices we were expecting but these oversized charred grilled scallions. They were so good accompanying each bite of meat, we kept ordering more grilled cebollitas to the smiling waitress’ delight.
Cebollitas Asadas – Grilled Green Onions
- Aluminum foil
- 20 Spring onions (or 20 large scallions)
- 2 tbsp Salted butter
- 2 tbsp Soy sauce
- 1 Lime, halved
- Prepare Onions – Preheat grill. Place onions in the middle of a large sheet of foil and top with soy sauce and butter. Fold all 4 sides over scallions to make a packet.
- Grill Onions – Grill onions in foil over high heat for about 10-12 minutes. Lower heat to medium (or raise grate), remove onions from foil, lay crosswise over the fire to cook 5-to-10 minutes more on each side until softened and lightly charred.
- To Serve – Transfer onions to a platter and sprinkle with salt and scatter lime wedges around for guests to squeeze, if they want.
- Cebollitas Asadas can also be made in the broiler. Place foil packet 3-inches from the heat and broil for 12 minutes. Open foil and broil another 6-8 minutes until desired char is achieved.