Garlic scapes may look a little unusual, but they are nothing to be feared. They have a slightly milder, grassier flavor than garlic, and can be used raw in pestos, dressings and dips, or anywhere you would use garlic in a recipe. (When I brought mine home from the farm, I chopped up half a dozen or so and used them in the shrimp & grits I had planned for dinner, in place of regular garlic.)
Probably my favorite way to use garlic scapes is in a stir fry. You don’t need a recipe so much as a method for making tasty stir fries every time – a little something aromatic (ginger, garlic, garlic scapes, scallions, shallots etc), a little protein (chicken, shrimp, tofu, pork, beef, edamame), a veggie or two (literally anything, from asparagus to zucchini), and a splash of soy sauce (or fish sauce or coconut aminos, if you like to avoid soy). Stir fry the protein in hot oil, then the aromatics, then the veggies and the sauce – voila, simple perfection every time!
While you’re working on perfecting your technique, here’s my favorite go-to recipe for stir fry:
Stir-Fried Chicken or Tofu with Bok Choy and Carrots
- 3 boneless – skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces OR 1 package extra-firm tofu, sliced into matchsticks
- 3 tbs soy sauce or asian fish sauce
- 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 2 tsp sugar (optional)
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
- 3 carrots – cut into 2-inch planks
- 1 small onion – chopped
- 1 pound bok choy – chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 3 scallions – sliced into 1-inch pieces (add a couple more garlic scapes here too!)
- 2 cloves garlic or 4 garlic scapes – minced or chopped
Toss the chicken or tofu with the soy or fish sauce, ginger, sugar if using, and CRP. Let stand at room temp 15-20 minutes.
In a wok or large skillet, heat 1-2 tbs of canola or vegetable oil over high heat. Add half the chicken or tofu, working in batches to lightly brown it and almost cook it through. Remove chicken or tofu as its done and set aside.
Add another 1 tbs of oil to the pan. Add carrots and cook, stirring, 2 min. Add onion and cook 3 min longer. Add bok choy, scallions and garlic scapes and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are just tender, 3-4 minutes. Return chicken or tofu and any accumulated juices to the pan, and toss to combine.