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.

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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)
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