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Walking through your local farmers’ market, you may have come across a wild-looking bunch of thin, long, and curly bright green stalks. These tangled stalks, more likely than not, are garlic scapes!
While rare in most grocery stores in the United States, you will commonly see this ingredient in grocery stores across South Korea. There, people often cook with and eat the mild, slightly sweet garlic scapes when at home. In this ingredient article, we will learn about garlic scapes and how they are used in Korean cooking!
If you are interested in more Korean ingredient articles, check out more of our blog. We have already written about fresh ingredients such as perilla leaves, napa cabbage, soybean sprouts, mung bean sprouts, and more. Further, we have written about pantry ingredients such as doenjang, gochugaru, and gochujang!
What Are Garlic Scapes?
Garlic scapes are the long, green stalks that grow out from the bulbs of hardneck garlic plants during late spring and early summer. ‘Hardnecks’ refer to a type of plant, such as garlic, that has a stalk that sprouts out from the center of a bulb. As it continues to grow, the ‘neck’ from where the stalk first sprouts and then slowly hardens until rigid with maturity.
When left unharvested, flowers bloom from the scapes when the garlic plant reaches full maturity. Typically, people harvest the scapes before the flower blooms. This allows the garlic plant to pour all its energy into producing the tastiest blub!
Like garlic scapes, you can consume the scapes of scallions, chives, garlic chives, and more.
What Do Garlic Maneuljjong Like?
Garlic scapes taste mild and slightly sweet. When munching on these delicious stems, you will quickly note the nice garlicky flavor we all know well and love. That being said, they have a softer flavor than its pungent bulbous counterpart.
Garlic Scapes (Maneuljjong) In Korean Cooking:
Like I stated above, in South Korea, people commonly cook with garlic scapes. There, people refer to garlic scapes as ‘maneuljjong’ (마늘쫑). Below, I list a few examples of common Korean dishes that use maneuljjong as an ingredient.
Examples of How to Use Maneuljjong:
- Maneuljjong Bokkeum (마늘쫑 볶음): In English, ‘maneuljjong bokkeum’ refers to ‘stir-fried garlic scapes.’ Often, people stir-fry these garlic scapes in a soy sauce-based mixture to make a slightly spicy and sweet side dish.
- Maneuljjong Muchim (마늘쫑 무침): Unlike the bokkeum recipe, you do not cook the garlic scapes when making ‘maneuljjong muchim.’ The term ‘muchim’ refers to something seasoned or an ingredient tossed in seasoning. You do not cook muchim recipes. So, this is a tossed garlic scape dish!
- Maneuljjong Jangajji (마늘쫑 장아찌): In English, ‘jangajji’ refers to a type of side dish made by pickling vegetables. Often, people make this by pickling vegetables in soy sauce, soybean paste, or chili paste. You can try making our Korean pickled garlic if you are interested in cooking a jangajji recipe!
Garlic Scapes Frequently Asked Questions:
Now that we learned about garlic scapes, we want to answer some potential questions you may have as well! If we do not answer your question about maneuljjong, feel free to leave a comment in the section below or email us at [email protected].
Can You Eat Garlic Scapes Raw?
You can use maneuljjong just like garlic in many recipes. While usually eaten cooked in a variety of different ways (think sauteed, roasted, pickled, grilled, and more), you can eat the softest parts raw! When eating them raw, use the tender tops of the stems and the buds.
When Are Garlic Scapes In Season?
The season for scapes starts in late spring and lasts through early summer. Typically, the season starts in May and ends around June. That being said, they may be available earlier or later depending on the region where you live.
How Do You Store Garlic Scapes?
You can store garlic scapes in two different ways:
- First, you can keep them in a glass with a little bit of cool water on the counter. If you do this, remember to change the water daily. The garlic scapes will last a few days using this method. The beautiful glass will also act bouquet of greens which is a bonus!
- Or, you can keep garlic scapes in a plastic bag in the fridge. This method allows the garlic scapes to last one to three weeks.
How Long Do Maneuljjong Stay Good?
Like I stated above, garlic scapes will stay good in the refrigerator for one to three weeks.
Where To Buy Garlic Scapes?
You can find maneuljjong in Asian grocery stores when they are in season. If you do not live near an Asian market, try walking through your local farmers’ market! Often, you will find them there from late spring through early summer.
We Hope You Enjoyed Learning About Maneuljjong!
In the end, we hope you enjoyed learning about maneuljjong, otherwise known as garlic scapes. If so, let us know in the comment section!
If you would like to read more about cooking, you can find further recipes on our blog. We listed some of our favorite Carving A Journey Korean recipes below! For reference, many recipes are influenced by our blended Korean and Southern heritage.
Korean Ingredient Articles:
- What are Perilla Leaves (Kkaennip)?
- Soybean Sprouts in Korean Cooking (Kongnamul)
- Mung Bean Sprouts in Korean Cooking (Sukju-Namul)
- Green Plums in Korean Cooking (Maesil)
Further Carving A Journey Korean Recipes:
- Kongnamul Muchim (Korean Soybean Sprout Salad)
- Sukju-Namul Muchim (Korean Mung Bean Sprout Salad)
- Baechu Jeon (Korean Cabbage Pancakes)
- One-Pot Koran Jajang Tteokbokki Recipe
If you have any questions or comments, you can also email us at [email protected].
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