Smack dab in the middle of spring, we find huge bundles of beautiful bright green garlic scapes in the markets. You can pickle them in soy sauce but if you want to enjoy some right away, sautée and serve them as a banchan.
The scapes are pretty sturdy and don’t absorb too much of the seasonings, so pair them with salty dried shrimp for just the right amount of flavor.
300g garlic scapes
Pinch of salt for blanching
30g dried shrimp
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp plum syrup
1 tbsp water
drizzle of vegetable oil
drizzle of sesame oil
a few pinches of roasted sesame seed (optional)
1. Cut off discolored ends and buds, and cut the scapes into 4 to 5cm pieces.
2. Blanch the pieces quickly so they’re still crisp—you’re going to sautée these so don’t let them cook in the water. The blanching helps reduce moisture. Drain and set aside.
3. Shake out any crumbs from the dried shrimp through a sieve. Sauté in a hot, dry pan to crisp them up and make their fishy flavors more mild and nutty.
4. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, plum syrup and water.
5. Preheat a pan with some vegetable oil and sauté the blanched garlic scapes. Pour in the soy sauce mixture and add the shrimp after the garlic scapes absorb ⅔ of the liquid. If you add the shrimp too early, they’ll absorb more of seasoning mixture and will get too salty while your garlic scapes stay bland in comparison.
6. Toss the shrimp and garlic scapes well. You can add more seasonings if you want. Drizzle some sesame oil and sprinkle some toasted sesame seed over everything and you’re done!
Serve as a banchan with steamed rice.