Young Garlic Bulbs are in Season!


Whenever I see them in the market, as I have for the past 5-6 weeks, I get a huge bunch of them. Young garlic is one of those ingredients that you just can’t find the whole year round. And with their milder flavor, incredibly soft texture when stewed, they are perfect for several dishes like some slow cooked adobo (chicken or pork), some western stews, roasted whole and made into a paste, etc.


I suspect you can even pickle them nicely but I haven’t tried that yet. I’m curious if readers have other uses for this ingredient that I haven’t come across yet…

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21 Responses

  1. the french pickle them too just as my mom used to [similar to this although using an apple cider vinegar would not discolor them as in this example].

    from recent experience in Lyon, it is served as side to charcuterie, as an optional side to beef tartare [along with like pickled gherkins], and in another meal as a topping alongside stemmed capers to mackerel. i suppose it goes with any dish that needs a counterpoint to richness…

  2. We have them, too, at Union Square, and only for a week or two. I give educational tours now to school children and we give them a taste of something they are not very likely to have come across before. So today I made Celery root slaw with spring garlic. including the green tops.with a cider vinegar dressing. Use edible pansies for a garnish. Try pickling green garlic, they make a great side to roasted meats or seafood or added to salads.

  3. I wonder if using these young garlic bulbs for pistou instead of the required mature garlic would temper down its assertiveness, introduce a bit of sweetness into the mix and nudge it towards the realm of calçot.

  4. I still remember this was my dad’s favorite seasonal vegetable. These young bulbs of garlic are thinly sliced, sauteed with thinly sliced white labanos, shrimp, thinly sliced pork loin, fried tofu and with sotanghon. The green tender parts of the young garlic are also part of this dish. Very traditional here in Rizal province.

  5. Our family uses the fresh young garlic for fresh Chinese lumpia. These are not found in Cebu and we had to get them from Manila. It makes a lot of difference in taste with the fresh young garlic.

  6. My mother slice them thinly including the green parts and marinade it in a mixture of sugar cane vinegar, brown sugar and a little salt. No cooking needed. Let the pickle mixture blend for a couple of days. Best paired with fried fish, inihaw na liempo or fried tokwa. Some old folks from our province says that this pickle cures high blood. Though after eating, you should either brush your teeth or gargle with mouthwash cause it makes your breath quite smelly.

  7. By June, I will be able to pull out some young garlic…pikit mata and then turn them into KOREAN PICKLED GARLIC. I planned on submitting one bottle of it last year in a pickling contest but did not make it to the contest for I opened it and then we ate it all! Instead I submitted my Trombocino Achara and won 1st place in exotic category! Looking forward to making at least 6 jars of Korean Pickled garlic this year! That leaves me with 756 mature bulbs this year to harvest in late August.

  8. When I was younger, I see my aunt saute young garlic bulb with shrimp. She will slice the bulbs really thin then she’ll stir-fry it just like regular veggies. I remember the taste to be sweet.

  9. Looks really good. Also, I’m curious about “hardneck garlic”. How does it taste?

    “…and nudge it towards the realm of calcot.” Footloose, let us know when you write a book.

  10. They sell bottled pickle garlics here, just not sure if from young ones. Have not tried yet. Yeah I read about the green tops being edible. I was curious, so a month ago I planted some garlics that started having shoots. I wonder if mine will be ok to eat (greens).

  11. BettyQ, I am planting the trombocino seeds you gave me. Last year, it didn’t do well with the Texas Heat.

  12. Hi BettyQ

    Recently moved here in Mill Creek, WA last 2013. I’m regular reader of Market Manila and mostly enjoys your comments. Last year was my first spring/summer and I enjoyed my Dahlias and other flowering perennial plants. One of my greatest wishes is to meet MM and you. Hopefully when I am fit to travel to Canada, I would love to meet you. =)
    I have also sister in Marysville, WA and a brother up there in Vancouver.

  13. Here in Laguna, we have a dish called Tinadtad. It is basically Sinigang using beef cut in small cubes (like in menudo). The vegetables added to it are just those young garlics, both the bulb and the green leaves and labanos.
    Another dish is sautéed Kamias cut in round slices with small shrimps (hipon yapyap) and young garlic (bawang na mura) with a some sotanghon. The dish is a little soupy and the sotanghon is only in small amount.

  14. My mom sautéed it with shrimps and add sotanghon. She used the juice from pounded shrimp heads to flavor the broth.

  15. Thanks for the links MM! Should try this hardneck.

    It’s a big bonus to read the comments section of these previous posts too!

  16. what we usually get are younger than these (because the bulbs are not as defined) so it is mostly green. We usually cook this sauted with shrimps, radish and sotanghon, simply called Ginisang bawang :)

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