Ninnikume Itame (Simmered Garlic Sprouts with Pork)

Ninnikume or Garlic Sprouts (or sometimes called Garlic Scapes) are not readily available in Japan. So when you find a dish with garlic sprouts in Japanese restaurant, it runs out fast. That’s when I decided to fix them at home.  It was a big hit with my husband and daughter. Garlic sprouts  usually come frozen in 16 oz packs.  You can hardly but fresh garlic sprouts in the grocery. Garlic sprouts looks like a very thin asparagus.  If cooked properly, gives a sweet flavor to the dish.  This dish is very simple and quick to fix.


1 tbsp. oil

3 cloves garlic

1/2 pound pork, sliced in strips

1 tbsp Sake – substitute, Dry Sherry

1 tbsp Kikkoman Soy Sauce

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

2 tsps Hondashi granules – substitute, Fish Sauce

1 16 oz pack frozen garlic sprouts

2 tsps Nanami (optional) – substitute, chili flakes


Mix pork, sake, salt and pepper.  Marinate for 15 minutes.

In a medium pan, saute’ garlic in oil. Cook until golden brown. Add marinated pork.

Cook for 5 minutes or until pork turns golden brown.

Add frozen garlic sprouts. Cover pan and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add hondashi and nanami. Mix and cook for 2 minutes.

Eat with steamed rice or serve as an appetizer.


Keep Garlic Sprouts frozen.

Garlic sprouts can overcook easily. Overcooked sprouts turn limp.

Marinating the pork lets the pork absorb the flavor more.


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