This is my own take on the Korean side kongnamul muchim, using garlic scapes in place of the garlic and scallions. It comes together in about 5 minutes and makes for a satisfying side with a crisp crunchy texture and heady aroma of toasted sesame seeds. By using garlic scapes, it not only adds a dash of color to the salad, it also adds a mellow sweetness and garlic flavor.
You can usually find garlic scapes year round in Asian supermarkets, as well as at local farmers markets during spring, but if you can’t find it, garlic chives will also work for this dish. As for the bean sprouts, this salad will work with mung bean sprouts (the type with a small soft bean at the top), but I prefer using soy bean sprouts (the type with a large firm yellow bean at the top of the sprout) because they have a better texture. The stalk of soy bean sprouts are a bit more fibrous, giving the salad a marvelous crunchy texture, and the bean itself has a texture and taste similar to edamame.
This dish is great for parties because the ingredients are cheap and you can make this a day in advance. While there’s nothing complicated about this salad, it is very important to squeeze as much water out of the cooked bean sprouts as possible, otherwise your salad will end up watery.
Bean Sprouts Garlic Scape Salad
- 7.5 ounces (213 grams) soy bean sprouts
- 2.6 ounces (75 grams, about 8 scapes) garlic scapes, cut into 1.5-inch lengths
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil.
- Add the garlic scapes and give them a 30 second head start before adding the bean sprouts.
- Add the bean sprouts and let the pot come back to a boil (another minute or so). Drain and rinse the vegetables with cold water.
- Squeeze the bean sprouts and garlic scapes between your hands to get as much water out of them as you can.
- Put the squeezed bean sprouts and scapes in a bowl and toss with the sesame seeds, sesame oil, soy sauce, and salt.
Marc Matsumoto is a culinary consultant and recipe repairman who shares his passion for good food through his website norecipes.com. For Marc, food is a life long journey of exploration, discovery and experimentation and he shares his escapades through his blog in the hopes that he inspires others to find their own culinary adventures. Marcs been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and has made multiple appearances on NPR and the Food Network.