Tempura Garlic Scapes

  • pound garlic scapes
  • 3 to 4 cups canola oil for deep frying
  • egg yolks
  • cups ice water
  • 1/4 cup ice cubes
  • cups flour, cake or all-purpose
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.