Garlic scapes – also called garlic shoots – are the long, thin, sturdy stems that grow out of the garlic bulb. Many vendors trim off the elongated flower bud at the tip of the scape, but if they are still intact, look for ones that are tightly closed. If they have the bud on, they resemble flowering chives on steroids.
When raw, garlic scapes are very strong and garlicky, but when cooked, the flavour becomes sweet and mellow.
Chose a tender cut of boneless beef, such as tenderloin, oyster blade, bavette, flank or sirloin.
Thinly slice the beef against the grain into strips about 3cm (1¼ in) long. Put the beef in a bowl, then add the soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, sugar, salt, pepper and cornstarch. Combine thoroughly, then set aside while preparing the other ingredients.
Trim off and discard the tough ends from the garlic scapes (they will be yellow-green and will feel hard, rather than bendable like the rest of the stem). Cut the remainder of the stems into pieces about 4cm (1½ in) long.
Pour the oyster sauce into a small bowl, add about 30ml (2tbsp) of hot water and stir to dissolve.
Heat a wok over a high flame and when it’s hot, add about 10ml (2 tsp) cooking oil. When the oil is very hot, add the garlic scapes and stir-fry until they start to soften slightly (about two minutes). Remove the scapes from the wok.
Heat the wok again over a high flame then add the remaining oil. When the oil is very hot, add the ginger and stir-fry for about 30 seconds. Add the beef (and its marinade) and stir-fry until the beef loses its pink colour.
Add the scapes back to the wok and stir in the oyster sauce/water mixture. Stir-fry until the meat is cooked and the scapes are tender and sweet. Transfer the ingredients to a dish and serve immediately.