Don’t discard sprouted garlic! Grow them in water instead. Homegrown garlic sprouts add great flavour to omelette, noodles, salad, stir-fry, etc.
Have you ever seen garlic sprouting? If yes, did you throw the sprouted garlic into the bin? I bet some of you did. In fact, you have two other choices: 1. pull out the young shoots (which have a slightly bitter taste) from the bulb, then use the garlic as normal. 2. Let the sprouts grow in water then use them the same way as you would do with spring onion.
About 10 days ago, I noticed several bulbs of garlic in my kitchen had small green shoots in the middle. This reminded me that when I was growing up in China my father regularly grew garlic sprouts on our window sill. I still vividly remember how he peeled each garlic clove with great patient, then placed them carefully into a blue porcelain dish. He’d ask me to look after them by pouring a little water into the dish from time to time. I was very pleased to get involved and fascinated by how fast those green shoots grew…
With those sweet memories in mind, I planted all my sprouted garlic in water. This is how I grow them:
- Separate the garlic cloves by hand. Peel each clove (Do not cut off the root end of the clove).
- In a small flat-bottomed container (I use a tapas dish), stand the peeled cloves one beside another, with the sprouting end facing up. Keep them reasonably loose as they will expand when growing.
- Pour a little water into the dish (just enough to cover the roots) then leave it on a window sill. Check the water level every day. Top up when necessary.
My garlic sprouts grew to over 20cm (about 8 inches) tall within a week. They resemble Chinese chives in appearance and have a mild garlic flavour. The other day I made omelette with my freshly harvested garlic sprouts. It was simple to prepare and very tasty indeed. I also used them in Sichuan hot and sour glass noodle soup, instead of using spring onion. It worked very well too. There are in fact many ways to serve garlic sprouts, as flavouring or garnish, just like how you use spring onions in various dishes.
Hope you find this post useful and interesting. If you are planning to grow some garlic sprouts and have young children, get them involved if possible. It will leave them with lovely memories to cherish for years to come (actually that’s the premier reason why I decided to write this post).