Ingredient: Green Garlic

picture of fresh green garlic

This Spring has sprung us quite a bit of rain -alright, quite a bit
more than a bit, in fact. The sky has been leaking almost daily for
weeks on end. It’s perfect soup weather, yes, but I haven’t been
eating much soup. I steadfastly refuse to surrender to this horrible
weather, and I’ve been doing a lot of sprightly stir-fry in defiance.

One of the ingredients I have been using a lot is green garlic. Have
you seen it? It looks like an over-grown scallion, or perhaps a meager
leek. It is a fresh shoot of a young garlic plant, before it develops
the bulbs that we are familiar with in older garlic. Young garlic has
a taste that is unmistakably garlic-ky, but in a milder and gentler
way. It turns quite sweet and delicious when cooked, and retains the
flavor of garlic without being overpowering.

I adore green garlic. In fact, the very first recipe I posted on Chez
Pim -way back before it became a food blog- actually had green garlic
as an ingredient. I have been using it a lot in stir fries, and for
dinner yesterday I did a variation of the first recipe I posted on this
blog, but this time with shrimp, a much more available and easier to
deal with than crabs.

picture of shrimp and green garlic stir fry
Shrimp stir-fry with green garlic

Goong Pong Gari

300 g. or about 10 oz. shrimps, shell on (but head off)
1/2 onion, sliced into thin rounds
1/2 cup julienne green garlic (cut into about 2" very thin sticks)
1 heaping teaspoon of curry powder
4 tbsp cooking oil (use high smoke point oil, I use grape seed oil)
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp water

1. With a very sharp knife, cut each shrimp in half lengthwise with the shell on. Clean out the veins from the shrimp halves and set the shrimps aside.
2. Heat a fry pan or a wok until hot, add oil and then about a quarter of the julienne green garlic. (This will be used as garnish at the end so you won’t need much.) Cook until the sticks just begin to change color. Take them out of the oil immediately. Set aside to rest on a paper towel.
3. Turn the heat to medium then add the shrimps to the pan, laying each one the shell side down. Let the shrimps cook, shell side down only, for 2 minutes or until the shells begin to caramelize. Take the shrimps out of the pan and set aside.
4. Add onion into the pan, cook until translucent, then add the curry powder, the rest of the green garlic, and give everything a quick stir to mix well.
5. Add the shrimps back to the pan, then the fish sauce and the water. Stir vigorously until the shrimps are cooked to the desired doneness. I prefer mine a little on the under-done side, but you are welcome to cook them more. Check the seasoning, add more fish sauce if needed.
6. Transfer into a large plate, garnished with the fried green garlic, and serve with freshly cooked jasmine rice.

P.S. Despite how I feel about soups currently, I concede that green garlic is quite good in them. Might I suggest you try a variety of Vichyssoise, but use green garlic in place of the leeks? My friend Eric said it’s mighty tasty.


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20 Responses to “Ingredient: Green Garlic

  • Bea at La Tartine Gourmande said:
    April 11th, 2006 at 4:02am

    I had never seen or heard about green garlic. Looks like I will be on a search now! I was looking for purple garlic yesterday (or however you say this in English) but no luck either!
    Nice sized shrimps!!

  • keiko said:
    April 11th, 2006 at 4:20am

    This looks mighty tasty, Pim 🙂 What beautiful pictures too. I like the idea of adding green garlic in vichyssoise, hope I can find some around here…

  • kishko said:
    April 11th, 2006 at 6:36am

    the green garlic just started hitting the vegetable stands here in florence. so i have been on a green garlic binge myself lately and i will definitely give this recipe a try!

  • beastmomma said:
    April 11th, 2006 at 8:53am

    Green garlic seems interesting and also makes me wonder about what other things have a different flavor at various stages of maturity. Also, I like getting a glimpse into the first recipe you posted.

  • Dianka said:
    April 11th, 2006 at 9:13am

    I have used this ingredient so many times and I am embarrassed to say I didn’t know it was called green garlic! Thank you for the lesson! Your recipe looks great, I will have to try it.

  • Dianka said:
    April 11th, 2006 at 9:17am

    I have used this ingredient so many times and I am embarrassed to say I didn’t know it was called green garlic! Thank you for the lesson! Your recipe looks great, I will have to try it.

  • Catherine said:
    April 11th, 2006 at 10:19am

    Hi Pim,
    I found green garlic at our farmers market last week and used it to adapt FarmGirl’s savory scone recipe. It really was delicious(and better the next day toasted!)

  • matana said:
    April 11th, 2006 at 4:19pm

    Is Taiwanese leek the same thing as green garlic?

  • Preya said:
    April 11th, 2006 at 5:31pm

    I love green garlic as well:) Awesome blog! I lived in BKK for a couple of years and traveled there a lot when younger!

  • Ivonne said:
    April 11th, 2006 at 6:31pm

    That’s just lovely! Here in Toronto we’re just feeling the first kiss of spring so the local produce is still a bit away. I’m glad to see that’s not the case where you are!

  • Joe West said:
    April 12th, 2006 at 8:47pm

    I love green garlic! If you use it in Aioli instead of regular garlic, and make it really intense with the green garlic it goes well with fresh heirloom tomatoes and sweet 100’s. Maybe toss them with some ramps, fresh cracked pepper, and sea salt… mmmm!

  • Edward - said:
    April 12th, 2006 at 10:57pm

    Fantastic recipe, I made it last night, the green garlic makes it really interesting!
    Our local Thai place (Ploy Thai) also makes these wonderful little steamed garlic cakes from the green garlic.

  • Pim said:
    April 17th, 2006 at 12:15am

    Bea and Keiko: I have seen green garlic at a variety of markets in Europe. You just have to look, I think.
    Kishko: Do try and let me know what you think.
    beastmomma: I’ve been on a green-thingies kick lately, inspired by the various shades of green from all this rain we’ve been getting around here, no doubt.
    Dianka: thanks.
    Catherine: Thanks for the pointer. I’ll check out Farmgirl’s blog for that.
    matana: No, I don’t think so.
    Preya: Thanks.
    Ivonne: I’m sure your kiss will come soon enough. 🙂
    Joe: That does sound good. I’ll give it a try.
    Edward: Thanks! I’m glad you like it. I think you are referring to Guey Chai, which is usually made with garlic chives. The green garlic version sounds interesting though.

  • The Jeff Next Door said:
    April 18th, 2006 at 6:58am

    What’s the difference between green garlic and garlic scapes? Those are what I usually find at my local food cooperative.

  • Gourmet said:
    April 18th, 2006 at 9:23am

    Beautiful pic!!
    great pic!!

  • Yishay said:
    April 19th, 2006 at 4:54am
  • Bea at La Tartine Gourmande said:
    April 26th, 2006 at 7:38am

    Just meant to add this note Pim. Isn’t it funny how sometimes we find out about ingredients? Before I read your post, I had never heard about young garlic. Next thing is that I go to my veggie market and buy what I took for spring onions. Came home and thought, hmm, different smell. Went back and realized I had bought Young garlic! I had never seen before and bought it even without knowing about it! Made the connection because of your post! 😉

  • Jennifer at EQ: EpicureanQuest said:
    June 10th, 2007 at 5:14pm

    Chere Pim,
    Thanks for this outstanding recipe! It’s green garlic season again and this dish certainly withstands the test of time.
    It’s my first time cooking with green garlic — what a treat. Julienning is the way to go. You can read about it on EQ.

  • dianne ryan said:
    April 17th, 2008 at 6:10pm

    my neighbour grows both green & purple garlic best i have ever tasted

  • Wholesale Suppliers said:
    November 30th, 2010 at 11:52am

    Green garlic also increase the taste of salad and I don’t know why you do not like soups try green garlic in soup you will love it for sure

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