Tempura Garlic Scapes with Garlic Scape Aioli Recipe on Food52 (2024)


by: Alexandra Stafford



1 Ratings

  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer

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Author Notes

I am not much of salesman. And I know that asking you not only to fry during the height of summer but also to fry garlic and then dip it in more garlic might be a long shot, but here goes. First, unlike ramps, tomatoes, berries — all of the prized summer jewels — scapes are among the most affordable items found at farmers markets. Second, unlike typical tempura methods, which call for a coating of flour, here the flour, which refuses to cling to scapes, is omitted. Once you get going, the process moves along quickly. The key is being patient with the frying. Third, these are completely delicious. Sold?

Tempura method and recipe adapted from Saveur. —Alexandra Stafford

  • Test Kitchen-Approved

What You'll Need

  • Tempura Garlic Scapes
  • 1 poundgarlic scapes
  • 3 1/2 cupscanola oil for deep frying
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 cupsice water
  • 1/4 cupice cubes
  • 2 cupsflour, cake or all-purpose
  • Garlic Scape Aioli
  • 4 or 5 garlic scapes, straggly tips removed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespooncapers
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 lemon
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cupolive oil
  • 1/2 cupneutral oil such as grapeseed, canola, or vegetable
  • 1 tablespoonvinegar (optional)
  1. Tempura Garlic Scapes
  2. Prepare scapes: cut off the stringy tip from the flower end, and trim off the very bottom of the stem end. Cut each scape in half or into thirds, so that each piece measures about 4- to 6-inches in length.
  3. Fill a heavy pot with tall sides (something with a wide opening is ideal) with canola oil to a depth of at least one inch. Use a deep fry thermometer to gauge the temperature -- it should be steady at 360° F. Maintaining a consistent temperature is important.
  4. While the oil is heating, line a sheet pan with paper towels and set aside. Place two egg yolks in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Mix the yolks with two cups of cold water. Add one-quarter cup of ice cubes.
  5. Add two cups of flour. Hold four chopsticks with their tips pointed down and stab at the flour to combine it with the liquid until a loose, lumpy batter forms, about thirty seconds. Do not whisk, and do not use a fork -- the batter should be barely mixed with pockets of dry flour visible. The liquid will be the consistency of heavy cream.
  6. Dip a scape into the batter, then gently lower into the oil. Repeat until there are 5 or 6 scapes in the oil. It is important not to overcrowd the pan. Note: Do not rush through the frying process by crowding the pan -- the scapes won’t cook properly.
  7. Cook until the batter turns golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes total. Remove the scapes from the oil using a spider or slotted spoon, and place them on the paper towel-lined tray to drain. Season with a pinch of salt immediately, then repeat the dipping and frying with the remaining scapes. Serve immediately with the aioli.
  1. Garlic Scape Aioli
  2. In a food processor, pulse the garlic scapes with a pinch of salt until finely minced, scraping down the sides of processor as necessary. Add the capers, egg yolk, and juice of half a lemon and process until combined.
  3. With the motor running, pour the oil through the food pusher insert so that it enters the processor through the teensy hole at the bottom — this allows the oil to enter very slowly and will ensure that the aioli emulsifies.
  4. After all of the oil has been incorporated, stop the motor and taste. Add more salt and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes if necessary. Add more lemon or, if the aioli is needing more bite, add the vinegar. Process again, and continue adjusting as needed until it tastes right. Store in fridge until ready to serve.


  • Condiment/Spread
  • American
  • Vegetable
  • Capers
  • Garlic
  • Vinegar
  • Serves a Crowd
  • Fry
  • Sheet Pan
  • Summer
  • Vegetarian
  • Appetizer

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Debbie Bradley

  • epicharis

  • Alexandra Stafford

  • des @ atastyplate.com

Recipe by: Alexandra Stafford

I write the blog alexandra's kitchen, a place for mostly simple, sometimes fussy, and always seasonal recipes. My cookbook, Bread Toast Crumbs is available everywhere books are sold.

Popular on Food52

7 Reviews

Debbie B. May 22, 2020

Just made this, and it really was delicious. I could have eaten the tempura all night. We ordered the scapes from the Isle of Wight Garlic Farm (UK) and they were pristine on arrival. You have to love garlic to appreciate this recipe, and it’s probably just as well for social distancing at the moment but I would definitely make this again 😊

epicharis August 9, 2014

Tempura Garlic Scapes, Day 5: Job unattended. Increasingly worried calls from boyfriend go unreturned. Showers become futile. Surely enlightenment is at hand; now contemplating founding a religious order based around garlic and batter. I'm not going back. I can never go back.

Alexandra S. August 9, 2014

Oh my gosh, you are hilarious. Jobs, showers — overrated...but maybe give your boyfriend a buzz? Haha, I love it. Or don't. Love this comment.

des @. August 1, 2014

Yumm! anything tempura is good, I am not sure how easy scapes are to get where i live but I'm sure some spring onions would work! Nice one!

Alexandra S. August 9, 2014

Des, scapes are hard to find anywhere but at a farmers' market, and the season is pretty short — I think I saw them for about a month at my farmers' market and local co-op. But yes, as you say, anything tempura is good. I bet spring onions would be divine.

epicharis July 27, 2014

It's like you can read my mind and grant all my wishes *at the same time*. After I make this I'll report back (that is, if I haven't floated up to heaven).

Alexandra S. July 27, 2014

haha, I love it...please do report back!

Tempura Garlic Scapes with Garlic Scape Aioli Recipe on Food52 (2024)


What is the best way to eat garlic scapes? ›

They're fantastic when sauteed or stir-fried in vegetable or pasta dishes, but they can also be blended into dips or compound butters (try using scapes instead of basil for making pesto). If you have more garlic scapes than you know what to do with, preserve them in your favorite pickling brine.

How much of garlic scape to use? ›

I recommend using at least twice as many scapes as you would cloves, to start. Keep in mind that cooking scapes tames their flavor, so you may want to increase the amount for a more pronounced kick.

What can I do with my garlic scapes? ›

Fold chopped and sautéed garlic scapes into frittatas, omelets, or our best-ever scrambled eggs. Swap thinly sliced garlic scapes for the scallions in your next batch of crispy fried rice. Cut garlic scapes into coins and add them to a hot pan to make all sorts of stir-fries.

Should I keep garlic scapes in the fridge? ›

Storing Garlic Scapes

Garlic scapes keep well in a plastic bag in the fridge for two to three weeks. They will keep for a few days (and will look beautiful) in a glass with a little cool water in it, on the counter in a cool room.

Can you eat straight garlic scapes? ›

Absolutely! Raw garlic scapes are perfectly edible, with a sharp garlicky-green flavour. Be warned though - older scapes can be quite tough, which can make them unappealing in their raw state. Try a little before you commit to using them raw in a recipe.

How far down do you cut garlic scapes? ›

Win, win! To cut your scape, wait until the center stalk completely forms and grows above the rest of the plant. As it grows up it will begin to curl or spiral upward. At that point, cut the stalk as far down as you can without cutting any leaves off.

How to prepare scapes for eating? ›

Grill scapes turning occasionally until they wilt and char slightly. Carefully remove cooked scapes from barbecue transferring to a bowl. Squeeze on lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Toss and then serve immediately.

How long do garlic scapes stay fresh? ›

Storing: Garlic scapes keep well in a plastic bag in the fridge for two to three weeks. They will keep for a few days (and will look beautiful) in a glass with a little cool water in it, on the counter in a cool room.

How do you prepare garlic scapes? ›

Toss the scapes with a little olive oil and salt, and add them to a grill preheated for medium-high heat. Cook the scapes for a few minutes per side, flipping them over when you notice lightly charred spots. The scapes should be bright green and tender in texture when finished.

Can you freeze garlic scapes? ›

If you prefer, you can also cut up the scapes into shorter pieces. Put them into bags, seal well and freeze for later use. They'll easily store in the freezer for up to 6 months. When you want some scapes you don't need to thaw them, simply use the frozen scapes directly in your favourite recipes.

Where do you store garlic scapes? ›

You can store the garlic scapes in a brown paper bag in the fridge for a couple months. You can also store in plastic bags, just be sure you don't seal them too tightly, allowing some airflow. Simply folding the bag over once will do the trick!

What happens if you don't pick garlic scapes? ›

When the scapes grow long enough that they curl into a loop, they must be removed. If you don't break off the scapes, they will develop heads of bulbils and draw energy away from the bulbs growing underground.

Can you eat garlic scapes raw in a salad? ›

They can be diced and used in omelettes, frittatas, soups and salads. They can be eaten cooked or raw—though, be warned, they are a little tough when raw. They can also be pickled—try our pickled garlic scape recipe—then used in salads in place of gherkins or other pickles.

What are the health benefits of garlic scapes? ›

Garlic scapes are a great source of antioxidants, which help protect your cells against oxidative damage. This can also help to protect against other chronic diseases, such as heart disease and autoimmune diseases.

How do you prepare and eat garlic scapes? ›

Trim the end and bud, toss with oil, salt, and pepper, and pop the whole scapes on the grill over a medium flame. Cook until the outside has a nice char and the inside is soft about—10 minutes. Serve it hot off the grill topped with parmesan. You can also saute or stir fry garlic scapes as you would green beans.

Are garlic scapes as healthy as garlic? ›

“Garlic scapes come from garlic, so they contain the same nutrients like antioxidants Allicin, vitamin C, and selenium, all of which are involved in heart health,” she notes.

Should scapes be removed from garlic? ›

When growing hardneck garlics, scape removal is generally recommended unless you are wanting to let them develop a bulbil capsule. Scape removal encourages larger bulbs because energy is conserved and diverted to the bulb rather than the flowering structure.

Do garlic scapes need to be cooked? ›

They can be eaten cooked or raw—though, be warned, they are a little tough when raw. They can also be pickled—try our pickled garlic scape recipe—then used in salads in place of gherkins or other pickles.

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