Garlic Scapes Stirfry.
Garlic Scapes – they’re called ‘ma-neul-jong’ in Korea (마늘쫑).
They are the green shoots (stalks) that grow out from garlic (look below).
Many farmers cut and toss them out – as the growing shoots absorb nutrients away from the prized garlic.
What a shame!
People don’t know what they’re missing out on.
Today, we’ll use this under-rated vegetable and give it lots of love…
(Note: If you live near a Korean market, you’ll find garlic scapes in the vegetable section. You can also find them at local farmers market in late spring, early summer)
So what do Garlic Scapes taste like?
They have a delicious crunch – very similar to asparagus.
With a mild garlic taste.
Which makes them perfect for stir-frying.
Today, we’ll stir-fry them with minced pork in a delicious, savory & spicy sauce.
The base flavor for the sauce is Doubanjiang (look below).
Doubanjiang is Chinese Chili Bean Paste – it packs an umami, spicy and salty flavor.
To it, we'll add minced garlic, spicy chili peppers and a few other sauces to bring out that proper Asian flavor.
Note: In our recipe, we used Dried Vietnamese Chili Peppers for an added spice.
Feel free to use other types of dried red chili peppers (just tear-off a similar sized portion).
If you don’t do spicy well, use only 1 dried pepper (or okay to skip all together).
Cooking Notes for Garlic Scapes Stirfry
Use a few paper towels to soak-up any residual liquid in the meat - this step helps to remove gamey or "porky" smell from the meat.
In the recipe video, I forgot to garnish the dish at the end with cilantro – but I highly recommend doing so!
You can also add a drizzle of sesame oil (½ teaspoon) at the end – sesame oil does a fantastic job in harmonizing the strong flavors.
This dish tastes great the next day – re-heat leftovers in the frying pan or place in microwave for 1.5 minutes.
What more can I say?
This is a delicious, gourmet rice meal… in just a few minutes!
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- 8 Garlic Scapes
- 200 grams Minced Pork
- ½ a Mild Red Chili Pepper (mild, used primarily for color)
Minced Pork Seasoning
- Few pinches of Salt
- Few pinces of Black Pepper
- 1 teaspoon (!) Ginger Powder (Or use freshly grated ginger)
- 2 Tablespoons Mirin
Savory & Spicy Stirfry Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Doubanjiang
- 1 Tablespoon Oyster Sauce
- ½ Tablespoon Soy Sauce
- ½ Tablespoon Minced Garlic
- ½ Tablespoon Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Honey (or use Oligodang Syrup)
- 2 Spicy Dried Red Chili Pepper (or use 1 pepper for less spice)
Garnish for better taste!
- ½ Tablespoon Sesame Oil (brings all the flavor together)
- Few sprinkles Cilantro (optional)
Season Minced Pork
- Place 200 grams of minced pork onto a few paper towels. Grab a few more and pat-down the minced pork. This will remove the excess moisture and liquid in the meat. Then remove the paper towels.
- Season the minced pork with: Salt (few pinches), Black Pepper (few cracks), Ginger Powder or Freshly Grated Ginger (1 teaspoon!) and Mirin (2 Tablespoons).
- Use your hands and thoroughly mix the seasoning into the minced pork - then set it aside to marinate.
Prep Stirfry Ingredients
- Cut Garlic Scapes (8 stems) into small pieces (1~2cm).
- Next, cut ½ a mild red chili pepper into thin pieces. We're adding this MILD red chili pepper primarily for its color.
- Next, make the Stirfry Sauce: Mix Doubanjiang (1 Tablespoon), Oyster Sauce (1 Tablespoon), Soy Sauce (½ Tablespoon), Minced Garlic (½ Tablespoon), Sugar (½ Tablespoon), Honey or Oligodang Syrup (1 Tablespoon). Then use your fingers and and break-in 2 Dried Spicy Red Chili Peppers .(Note: You can remove the seeds from the dried chili peppers if you want to lessen the spice.)
- Add some vegetable oil into your frying pan. Place on medium-high heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add in the minced pork. Then use a wooden spatula and break the minced pork into smaller pieces (you don't want it to clump together). Add in a drizzle of more oil as you stir-fry (if needed).
- Once the pink is gone from the meat, add in the garlic scapes and the mild red chili peppers. Stir-fry for a few minutes or until the garlic scapes start to sweat.
- Then add-in the Stir-Fry Sauce. Stir-fry everything together for a few minutes.
- Then turn off heat. Garnish the stir-fry with chopped cilantro and a drizzle of Sesame Oil (½ Tablespoon).
Plate & Garnish
- Scoop some rice onto a plate. Scoop-on the garlic scape stir-fry. Add more cilantro if you'd like! Bon Appetit 😉