Posts Tagged ‘fried rice’

Using What You Have V: More About Garlic Scapes

I’ve posted before about garlic scapes, and it occurred to me this spring that I had a little more to say. I see garlic scapes being sold at markets that are large spirals with several loops, and while these are pretty to look at and play with, I personally don’t think of them as edible. Good scapes are young, just a foot or so longer than the garlic plant below,  and form 3/4 of a circle or less, as you see above. Snap them off rather than cutting; they should snap like a bean when bent double. Then, snap off the upper blossom sheath, which is quite tough. The stem under it is tough too. The point where an actual snap happens might be 4-5” below the blossom swelling, meaning that of a foot-long scape, you might end up with 7” of good edible portion.

Next, decide how you’re going to cook it and how long the sections should be. I decided to illustrate the most difficult case to deal with: sections a bit over an inch long for a stir-fry. The reason this is difficult is that if you wanted to chop 1/4” sections the toughness of the outer skin would be irrelevant, but for these longer sections, tough skin has to be dealt with or unpleasant threads will stick between your teeth. Fortunately the solution is pretty quick and very easy. Snap the scapes into sections about 1.25” long, and wherever skin makes itself known, peel it off.

When you see “scape bark” like this, peel it off the sections on each side of the break.  If a long tough piece peels off, I use my thumbnail to start peeling the rest of the outer skin on that scape. It sounds tedious but doesn’t really take that long and produces a much nicer finished result.

In less than 15 minutes you have the situation shown above, where some scapes are completely peeled and the ones with more tender skin are still completely green. They’re ready for the wok now. Or cook them any other way you choose, but I find the fierce heat of the wok especially useful at tenderizing any remaining tough skin.

Rather than give a recipe for fried rice, I decided to link to the excellent and infinitely variable Pork Fried Rice recipe on The Woks of Life. This is a terrific blog that I’d like my readers to know about. I will only add that I often make meatless versions and that I think 2-3 teaspoons of oyster sauce is an essential addition to the “sauce” that’s added to the rice as it cooks. The garlic scapes got a couple of minutes in the hot wok by themselves with just oil and soy sauce, then another minute with some finely sliced tender greens from yesterday’s weed post, before the final combining took place, and a good drizzle of Asian sesame oil was added just before serving.

I’ve been on a carbfest since the shutdown, but here I tried a half-and-half mixture of leftover rice and leftover cauliflower rice. That wasn’t ideal, in my opinion, and I’ll probably go back to real rice.