Friday, June 4, 2010

Stir Fried Garlic Stem With Tofu 蒜苗炒豆腐

For the coming week I will be sharing with you some simple yet delicious Chinese dishes; be it good old classics, childhood favourites or my successful little experiments in my kitchen. I am wondering how many of you are familiar or heard of today's main ingredient, garlic stem (蒜苗, pronounced suan miao)? I first read about this delicious vegetable in Fushia Dunlop's "Sichuan Cookery" about 10 years ago and it started to appear on the markets here in Melbourne soon after. It has a strong pungent garlic taste when raw but turns into something sweet and fragrant when it is cooked. Think garlic, leek and Chinese chives. I will be sharing other recipes using this gem in the near future.
P.S This is also my second post using any type of tofu since we have a non tofu eater here but I will start posting some tasty tofu dishes from now on. Bo has since informed me that garlic stem is known as garlic scapes in the United States, thank you!

serves 2 to 4 as part of a Chinese meal
you'll need;
1 bunch of garlic stems, sliced at an angle
half a block of tofu, cut into 2 cm dices
dash of mushroom sauce*
dash of soy
small pinch of sugar
dash of Chinese cooking wine
* mushroom sauce is a substitute for oyster sauce for vegetarian cooking. It is available at Asian grocers.

Prepare the ingredients.

Fry tofu in batches til golden brown.

Fry garlic stems with a little oil in a hot wok for 30 second.

Immediately add in the tofu and seasonings and toss everything around for a further 30 seconds on high heat. Splash in the cooking wine and cook for another 30 seconds. The garlic stems should be ready but still retain the crispness and the tofu would have absorbed all the delicious flavour from the seasonings.

Serve immediately as part of a Chinese meal. Perfect with rice congee as well.


  1. Yummy and irresistible stir fry..makes me hungry..

  2. I have seen this vegetable everywhere now I know what it is and what to do with it, Thank you!
    Looking forward to some tofu dishes from you!

  3. I think that vegetable might be what we call garlic scapes here...a scape is the stem of the garlic the flower would form on...I'm not sure if that's what your using...but I think they would work....I love Chinese dishes so I look forward to this weeks recipes.

  4. wonderful merger of flavors....yummy!!!

  5. hi my dear Tummy..makcik pernah masak sayur ni tapi agak keras...makcik akan tunggu masakan cina dari dapur tummies minggu ni.Terima kasih kerana sudi berkongsi ya:)

  6. Priya,
    Thank you very much!

    KL girl in MELB,
    Get some next time you see them.
    I am looking forward to start eating tofu too!

    Thank you my friend I did a goggle on garlic scapes and it it indeed the same thing.

    sangeeta ,
    Thank you!

    msihua ,
    Thank you!

    Sayur ni memang sedikit keras jadi seharusnya di potong meyerong. Sama sama makcik!

  7. Hi 3HT. I will be going to Melbourne in early July. Maybe we can meet up. Could you send me your email so we can keep in touch. Mine is

  8. un plat est irrésistible j'attends ton invitation et merci d'avance
    bonne journée

  9. So very yummy. I have yet to cook with tofu. I am tempted to say the least.

  10. I use this quite often too. Love the crunch.

  11. Yes, I am hungry for them too!

  12. Good to see some nice vegetable dishes here. I have a lot of your nice main dishes now I have some good side dishes too!

  13. Beautiful vegetarian dish! I hope I can source the garlic stems because I'd love to try this.

  14. Yummy dish with new ingredients. Love how you fried the tofu first and I am sure I have seen the garlic stem before.

  15. CW Borneoboy,
    That is great! I will send you an email with my contacts!

    Merci beaucoup!

    Thank you and tofu is great!!!

    penny ,
    Me too such a lovely vegetable.

    Joy ,
    Haha you must try it!

    rosa ,
    Thank you. I will start posting simple vegetable dishes that we have.

    Thank you! There will be more vegetarian dishes so stay tuned!

    CW ,
    Thank you! They keep the shape better and the contrast of texture is great!

  16. Hey darling we are finally in our new place! Love all youe Japanese dishes and very happy to see a delicious dish with tofu in it!

    Sophia xxx

  17. That's a healthy veggie dish. Yes I like the suan miao too, crispy.

  18. I actually love tofu and the way it absorbs flavors. Garlic scapes are prevalent at all the markets right hnow - perfect pairing!

  19. Love the garlic sprouts stir-fried with tofu! A very delicious and healthy dish.

  20. Ooh.. that looks yum. You get restaurant like look for all your dishes and I am sure they taste as good too. Thanks for sharing

  21. Just what I would like for dinner....simple and delicious with rice. A good way to lose weight...haha.

  22. Seriously they look soo good..those shoots look as big as string beans..never seen that before..maybe i would have eaten that at a chinese restaurant without knowing. :). Happy weekend!

  23. Looks delicious! Looking forward to more simple vegetarian dishes like this!

  24. 很有家的味道。I am trying to remember if I have seen 蒜苗 at the markets here.. will definitely start looking for it.

  25. Just came back from the market and saw bunches of these at the vegetable stall....goes to show I am no house wife and don't cook enough :P...

  26. That sounds simple and looks yummy...

  27. Sophia darling, can't wait to see pictures of your new place! xxx

    Thank you! Love the crispness too :)

    Thank you! I am glad I am told they are called garlic scapes :)

    Angie's Recipes,
    Thank you very much!

    Nostalgia ,
    Thank you very much!

    Haha thank you! It is a very healthy dish indeed!

    Cool Lassi(e) ,
    Thank you very much! You might have hehe

    Yasmin ,
    Thank you very much!

    Shirley @ Kokken69 ,
    謝謝!I am glad you have seen them at the market at the end :)

    Thank you!

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