Maneuljjong Hodu Bokkeum (Stir-fried Garlic Scapes with Walnuts)

A few days ago, I saw these garlic scapes (maneuljjong – 마늘쫑 ) in a Korean market for the first time this season. I was delighted and had to bring a couple of bunches home with me. Garlic scapes are the curly flowering shoots/stalks of garlic plants that are snipped off to allow the bulbs to grow bigger. They have a milder flavor than garlic cloves but are still quite garlicky. When cooked, the scapes become sweeter with a subtle garlic undertone and have a texture similar to that of thin asparagus. In Korea, garlic scapes are commonly used as a vegetable for side dishes. I pickled some of them in a soy brine, and ground a handful of them into a paste, which I added to grated potatoes to make potato pancakes. For this recipe, I stir fried the remaining scapes with walnuts in a soy sauce-based sauce. It’s a simple and delicious spring side dish! If you haven’t cooked with garlic scapes, make that a goal this spring. You’re missing out on a wonderful vegetable! The scapes only appear in markets for a short period time, so grab them while you can.

Ingredients:
10 ounces garlic scapes (maneuljjong)
1/2 cup shelled walnuts, broken into quarters
2 teaspoons vegetable oil

For the sauce:
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon sugar (or brown sugar)
1 to 2 teaspoons corn syrup (or more sugar)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds

Rinse and cut the garlic scapes into 2-inch lengths. Mix all the sauce ingredients well together, except the sesame oil and seeds.

In a heated pan over medium low heat, roast the walnuts for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the pan.

Add 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil to the pan, and increase the heat to medium high. Sauté the scapes for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Reduce the heat to medium low. Return the walnuts to the pan, and pour the sauce into the pan. Cook until the garlic scapes are tender and the sauce is almost gone, 3 to 4 minutes. Finish with the sesame oil and sesame seeds.

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  1. Yum! My last post was just on wild garlic pesto, so I’ve really been on a garlic spree lately. This looks delicious, and I really miss Korean food! I’ve never had any with walnuts, but it sounds amazing.

    • Thank you so much, Irina! Your wild garlic pesto looks great. I’m thinking about making some pesto with garlic scapes and freeze them for later use.

    • Hi Hyosun Ro:
      My son just sent me your link last evening after telling me that he follows your blog – and is becoming quite proficient in Korean quisine. I’m thrilled! I don’t know much about Korean cooking but am looking forward to incorporating it into my eclectic repertoire. I’ve never even ‘thought’ about scapes but I will certainly be searching for them now that I’ve read you. I LOVE GARLIC – a wonder food! Thank you so much for your blog; I’m preparing to start a cooking / baking / entertaining blog for my family – especially 3 granddaughters who are now foraying out into the World and are calling / emailing me for recipes. I look forward to really great times catching up with all you’ve shared!

    • Hi Mrs. Sherman – Very pleased to meet you on line. How nice of your son to introduce my blog to you! Please tell him that I’m very happy to hear he’s becoming proficient in Korean cooking and I greatly appreciate his readership. That’s awesome that you’re going to start a blog. Please come back and let me know when you do. Thank you so much for visiting!

  2. This sounds delicious! I love garlic scapes too and cooked them with shrimps or sliced pork…yum!

  3. Um… Yum! I can smell the taste and feel the texture from your description. :) It used to be one of my favourite banchan my mum made for us. Though, I’ve never seen fresh garlic scapes in Australia. Lucky you, Hyosun! I’m so jealous.

    • That’s too bad. Hope they show up in your area next spring. Who knows – garlic scapes might become the next trendy vegetable. It seems like they are starting to get more attention in the U.S. Thanks for coming by!

  4. Love it! Thanks for recipe :)

  5. Been going through all your old posts and adding things to juxtapost with abandon. Love your blog. Thanks.

  6. I just shared your recipes on FB:) They all look amazing!

  7. Xena Wilder says:

    I had sautéed garlic scape for the first time with mushrooms and carrots. My husband loved it! I love this website. It always has just yummy Korean foods with the easy to follow instructions!

    • Hi Xena! So very happy to hear from you. Thank you so much for the nice words. Mushrooms and carrots sound great with garlic scape. Hope all is well with you and your husband. And hope to see you guys again one day. Cheers!