Sunday, 12 May 2013

wild garlic with tofu, aubergine and oyster sauce


Recipe:  Wild garlic with tofu, aubergine and oyster sauce

Another of my food obsessions is the annual hunt for wild garlic (or ramsons, ramps or allium ursinum) as it is also known.  It has a short season - usually between early March and May in the UK but luckily grows abundantly in the woodland - often near bluebells.  It adds a beautifully mild, garlic flavour to stir frys, salads and soups and is packed with nutritional value.  Check out the benefits of wild garlic here. 

Wild garlic is identified by the strong garlicky smell in the air when you are near and when you rub the leaves together in your fingertips.  If it doesn't smell of garlic - it isn't!  Wild garlic looks similar to the leaves of the Lily of the Valley - which is toxic so BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN FORAGING and always ask an expert first!!!! 

For more information about foraging wild garlic you can look here or check out the brilliant 3 foragers or punk domestics.   

If you can't find wild garlic (either foraged or from a farmers market) you can substitute spinach or a leafy green such as bak choi.   

This recipe is a fresh and simple Asian inspired stir fry dish flavoured with oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce and fresh ginger combined with the pure flavours of the tofu and aubergine.  A healthy, quick, delicious and nutritious dinner.  I served this with plain white rice, but it would also be good with noodles.  I hope you enjoy - let me know what you think - and any other wild garlic recipe ideas you have....

preparation time:  10 minutes
cooking time:  10 minutes
author:  chip butties and noodle soup

serves:  2-3 people

200g wild garlic (well washed and rinsed in cold, running water)
200g tofu (cut into slices/cubes)
1 aubergine (cut into slices/cubes)
50g peanuts (chopped )
5 tbs oyster sauce
3 tbs soy sauce
3 tbs fish sauce
1 tsp chilli flakes
3 inch piece of ginger (finely chopped)
2 tbs oil

  • heat a large frying pan or wok with the oil - when hot add the ginger, chilli, aubergine and tofu - stir fry for a few minutes until the aubergine has softened and the tofu slightly browned.
  • next add the wild garlic (this may look like too much but don't worry it will wilt down considerably), oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, and continue to stir fry until wilted down and all heated through (about 4-5 minutes). 
  • garnish with chopped peanuts and serve with plain white rice or noodles. 
chip butties and noodle soup

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Herbs On Saturday Badge

I am also entering this dish into the May herbs on Saturday challenge hosted by delicieux.  Organised by Karen at lavender and lovage.  

This recipe is also included in Nature's Lunchbox a food foraging challenge organized by Foodie Laura.  Check out the rules here if you would like to enter or look at other entrants.  Happy foraging :-) 


  1. A great way to use ramps!

  2. Thanks very much. I found another patch closer to home so a few more recipes to come I think. Made a summery minestrone soup last night with a big bunchful - lovely :-)

  3. Another great dish using wild garlic! I am feeling quite jealous that you have so much of it! I love the Asian influences with this dish. It's something I would definitely enjoy eating. Thanks again for another great entry in Herbs On Saturday :)

    1. Thank you I am lucky to have some woodland with a huge amount of the stuff growing nearby. It really works well with Asian inspired flavours - I recommend it. Thanks for hosting such an interesting and inspiring challenge - loads of great dishes and inspiration :-)

  4. This is a great recipe.

    I think the hunt for wild garlic in a new area is almost as good as deciding what to do with it. We went on a break recently, and were walking through the hils when I was stopped in my tracks by the distinctive smell.

    The Big Guy fell about laughing, because according to him I was literally sood with my nose and forelimb in the direction of the garlic, like some kind of pointer