Pickled Garlic


Pickled garlic! It’s a THING. I was pretty excited to find it, as a completely unfamiliar food item to me, and once I started digging through recipes I decided a) I wouldn’t make too much, and b) I’d try a couple different versions. Apparently it’s a standard Korean dish, so I decided on that as well as a French recipe.  What’s interesting is that the Korean version is intended to be eaten straight out of the jar, while the French recipe suggests that it’s more often used as a future-recipe-prep type thing. It would normally be grated and used in a salad dressing, or mixed in with hummus, for example.

It takes some time, this pickled garlic. I’m on the second stage of the Korean kind, and the French is technically done, though I tried one of the larger cloves today and I’m still breathing fire. I’m curious to know what they’ll both taste like an a couple weeks (better? more mild, I assume?) But here goes:

So, sure you decide to pickle garlic. And then you realize that lots of cloves of garlic is great and delicious and all, but you have to peel it! What! However, dear friend, there is a way.

If you didn’t watch that video, you break the bulbs up, put the cloves in a bowl, place another bowl upside down over the top, and shake the crap out of it.


Goes from that ^ to this:


And depending on the bowls you use, you might not even have to go through as many some-of-them-peeled-so-i’ll-take-them-out rounds as I did.  It saves time.

After this initial peeling part, the different styles split.

French Pickled Garlic





1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 small red chile, sliced thinly
3 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary
1 dried bay leaf
7-8 whole peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon dried herbes de provence
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar

1 cup whole garlic cloves, skins removed

Combine all ingredients except for the garlic in a small saucepan.
Place saucepan over high heat, and bring to a boil. boil for 5 minutes. Add the garlic cloves to the saucepan, and allow to boil for 30 seconds. Pour contents of saucepan into a sterilized mason jar, and allow to cool for 45 minutes. When the jar is cool, place the lid on it and store in the fridge.
The garlic will be ready to consume in as little as 2 days, but for the best flavor, allow it to sit in the fridge for about a week before opening. [My note: Larger cloves definitely need much more than 2 days. I left mine in the fridge for about a week and a half, and though the smaller ones were perfect, the bigger ones still have quite a bite.] Stored in the fridge, the french pickled garlic will keep for about a year.
Original recipe can be found here.

Korean Pickled Garlic

[My notes: I cut this recipe in half.]

20140119-204401.jpgKorean style pickled garlic after first portion of the recipe


1 pound fresh garlic (about 8 – 9 whole heads)
For the vinegar brine:
2/3 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon salt (kosher or sea salt)
1 and 1/3 cups water
For the soy brine:
2/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1 and 1/3 cups water

1-quart jar with a lid

Add peeled garlic to the jar. Stir the vinegar brine ingredients
together until the salt is dissolved. Pour over the garlic cloves. The liquid should fully cover the garlic cloves. Let stand at room temperature for 5 – 7 days.
Bring the soy brine ingredients to a boil, and gently boil for 5 minutes over medium heat. Allow to cool completely. Drain the vinegar brine from the jar. Pour the cooled soy brine over the garlic cloves. Make sure all the garlic cloves are fully covered. Close tightly with a lid, and let stand at room temperature for 2 weeks. The garlic can be eaten at this point, but it will taste better as it matures.
Original recipe can be found here.

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