Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Green Garlic

Two weeks ago I came across green garlic at the U Street Market. As I was about to ask, “what’s the difference?” to a fellow shopper, I heard the salesman explaining that it’s a milder garlic found only in the spring, and that “Some old Italian guy came in and snatched up a ton of it last week.”

Being a young Italian girl, I figured it was worth a try. So I bought a bunch (about 6 pieces) and simmered it down, along with shallots, in an asparagus soup. While the texture of the soup was a little off (it needed to be strained) the flavor was smooth and buttery. It had a garlicky flavor without the bite that can be a bit much sometimes, when more mature garlic is used. In case you’re wondering, one stalk of green garlic is equivalent to one or two cloves of mature garlic.

So I became a fan, and put it on my list of things to pick up on a future trip to the market (I’m crossing my fingers for this Saturday…)

It was then that I noticed green garlic popping up everywhere. No, not in gardens (as I don’t tend to pass too many of those living in the city) but on web pages, like here, here and here.
Am I missing something? Did everyone know about green garlic, except me?

It looks like I have of work to do. As if I didn’t cook, read and eat enough. It’s kind of like when I FINALLY tried cooking with fish sauce, or I FINALLY got reusable grocery bags.

Unlike green garlic, I’m clearly a late bloomer.

In honor of this seasonal treat, I bring you the green garlic recipe I plan on trying this weekend:

Shrimp stir-fry with green garlic, from

10 oz. shrimp, 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)
1 tbsp fish sauce2 tbsp water1.

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.
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.
Turn the heat to medium then add shrimp to the pan, laying each one the shell side down. Let shrimp cook, shell side down only, for 2 minutes or until the shells begin to caramelize. Take the shrimp out of the pan and set aside.
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.
Add shrimp back to the pan, then the fish sauce and the water. Stir vigorously until the shrimp is cooked to the desired doneness. Check the seasoning, add more fish sauce if needed.
Transfer into a large plate, garnished with the fried green garlic, and serve with freshly cooked jasmine rice.

1 comment:

Evie said...

Hi Teresa,

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Shannon Eliot
Editorial Assistant,