How to Make Black Garlic (four Options + Video Included)
The allium sativum species includes black garlic, which is not a separate species. Normal garlic undergoes a change in character when exposed to constant warm and humid conditions. The end product is a black garlic that is mild, earthy, funky, rich, and, yes, colored. This post will demonstrate how to ferment garlic at home using the Instant Pot, as well as provide instructions for doing so using a slow cooker, rice cooker, or food fermenter, and conclude with some suggestions for using your freshly fermented garlic.
Those with a passion for food, please read on This is the ultimate recipe/science-fair-project for nerds. Forbidden Garlic
These garlic cloves have undergone a metamorphosis, becoming mellow and funky with a tangy molasses vibe instead of a sharp, eye-stinging allium. These are pliable and easy to spread, in contrast to raw garlic cloves.
Explain black garlic to me.
The amino acids and sugars in the allium sativum undergo a chemical change after being stored in a specific warm, humid environment for weeks (or months). This change is what gives black garlic its distinctive flavor.
Garlic that has turned black has not been fermented. On the contrary, it has undergone the browning process known as the Maillard reaction. It's what gives black garlic its signature flavor and transforms the cloves into something tangy, earthy, and rich that's so soft and sticky you can mash it with a fork.
Learn how easy it is to make black garlic in an Instant Pot by watching the video below.
I used an Instant Pot to film myself explaining how to make black garlic. (All the times I checked on my garlic's growth that weren't captured on camera)
Black garlic, unlike fresh garlic, has lost its characteristic sting and sharpness, and its flavor is now sweet and tangy with a bit of umami richness and funk.
The flavor has been likened to tamarind, balsamic vinegar, and soy sauce. I find that the sour, umami taste of black garlic complements and enhances the flavor of other foods. It's amazing how much this one secret ingredient can improve even the simplest of recipes.
Exactly where did it start
Though its use dates back centuries in countries like Japan and China, it is generally accepted that black garlic was first developed in Korea.
- Several fresh garlic bulbs
- Wrapping in plastic
- Tin foil
- A Food Fermenter, Slow Cooker, or Rice Cooker
- A private space in the house, such as a bedroom, garage, or outdoor patio, that can be locked off when needed.
- Patience You should expect this to take at least a few weeks, and probably closer to two months.
For this demonstration, I used an Instant Pot (not so instant for this recipe), but any of the other tools should work just as well.
A well-ventilated, weather-protected outdoor area, a garage, or a room that can be closed off from the rest of the house are all great places to set up your Instant Pot, slow cooker, rice cooker, or food fermenter.
Why An initial, potent garlic scent may linger for up to two weeks during this process.
I used an extra bedroom, cracked a window, and closed the door (but the smell of garlic still permeated the hallway) to cook in my Instant Pot. This space is now commonly referred to as "the garlic room," and it took some time (and Febreeze) for it to return to its original odorless state after the black garlic was prepared in here.
Set up your equipment outside or in a well-ventilated garage if you're extremely sensitive to odors.
The only real challenges in making black garlic are time and patience.
Because of the time involved, I suggest making a large quantity to ensure that you have enough for yourself and to share as gifts with your family and friends who enjoy good food.
With this batch, I produced 16 individual garlic heads. You can do more or less depending on your needs, but if I'm only fermenting a single head of garlic, it makes sense to make a large batch. There is no difference in aroma between using one or many.
The Instant Pot method for fermented garlic
- Fresh garlic bulbs should be wrapped in plastic wrap to keep them fresh.
- The bulbs should then be double-wrapped in tin foil.
- In order to keep the garlic from touching the bottom of the Instant Pot, you should use a rack.
- Wrap the garlic bulbs in foil and add them to the Instant Pot.
- Switch to the warm setting. ”
- After setting the timer for the maximum amount of time, 99 hours and 59 minutes, you can begin. Once every four days, the Instant Pot will turn off; in these cases, setting it to warm again is necessary.
- Mark your calendars three weeks from now. When that time comes, you'll begin inspecting each garlic head.
- After a month, using the same bulb as your "official tester," begin inspecting the garlic for quality. ”
- Take out a single garlic clove from its wrappings. To evaluate development, peel back the thin film of paper. (Mine turned out caramelized after about a month, but the garlic was still very solid.) )
- Put the light bulb back in its packaging and let the Instant Pot cook for another week.
- In another 5-6 weeks, you should check on the garlic once a week until it is a deep black color and soft, tender, and sticky. (The black garlic should look like in the picture below.)
This recipe is equally at home in a slow cooker, rice cooker, or Instant Pot. The garlic should be stored in a vessel with a rack on the floor to prevent it from touching the vessel's bottom; the heat should be set to "warm," and the bulbs should be wrapped in plastic and two layers of foil. ”
After four weeks, you should begin inspecting the garlic for doneness. Wrap it up and let it sit for another week if it isn't supple and black.
Garlic can be "cooked" past the point where it turns completely black, so don't stop there! The longer it is left to dehydrate, the more concentrated the flavors become and the more layers of complexity it will have.
Black garlic is made by fermenting regular garlic.
Do you want to save a few weeks of fermentation time? If you want to preserve food, try using an affiliate link food fermenter. Tools like these can shave an hour or more off the process of making black garlic cloves. These gadgets may be pricey, but they have a wide range of uses, from cooking sweet rice to producing yogurt.
Yes Black garlic's complex taste is only matched by its health benefits, which include the lowering of blood sugar, triglycerides, and cholesterol. The growth of colon cancer cells is slowed and the formation of free radicals is stymied. The anti-inflammatory properties of black garlic are beneficial to brain health and may aid in the prevention of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's and improve cognitive function.
It has been discovered to improve liver health and strengthen the immune system.
Black garlic can be kept in a cool, dry, dark place like a pantry in glass jars or even small brown lunch bags. It's also suitable for cold storage or frozen consumption.
Black garlic can be stored for at least two months when not refrigerated. If you're worried about germs, you can keep it in the refrigerator for up to a year and a half, or in the freezer for up to a year if you wrap it well.
Exactly how do we ensure that our food is safe to eat?
Just after I posted this article, Liz emailed me a response to it, and I think you should read it and decide for yourself what you think about black garlic.
Home preparation of black garlic carries inherent risks. Botulism and other toxins can be created if the temperature is not controlled and monitored, and if the ph levels are not correct.
In the words of food safety expert Dr. Nummer, Brian, Ph.D. D what the literature on black garlic preparation
57 degrees Celsius (135 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher is required for "fermentation. Lack of attention to temperature control may result in the spread of food-borne diseases. Bacteria that cause food poisoning, such as Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium botulinum, begin to multiply at temperatures just below 57°C (135°F). C-reactive protein is a potent neurotoxin. Botulinum toxin is the deadliest and most powerful poison discovered by humans. A temperature datalogger is thus highly recommended. ”
A traditional vegetable fermentation like sauerkraut (cabbage) or pickles (cucumbers) is very different from the black garlic fermentation. Natural (biota) lactic acid bacteria present in cabbage and cucumbers cause the sugars in the vegetables to ferment quickly in a salt brine at room temperature. The rapid fermentation prevents the spread of disease-causing organisms like C. botulinum When the pH of the brine drops to 4, it becomes an acid. With a score of 6 or lower, C Growing botulinum is impossible. Whether or not the black garlic fermentation produces acid depends on a number of factors. ”
Black garlic is a flavor you don't want to miss out on, so if you share Liz's concerns, I recommend skipping this DIY and instead purchasing some from a reputable source (affiliate link).
Black garlic, after its papery skins are removed, can be used as a spread on toast or as a "secret ingredient" in everything from stir fries to burgers. It goes wonderfully with pasta and steaks, and it adds a nice kick of flavor to steamed vegetables.
My go-to method involves mashing equal parts of black garlic and good butter to make a paste, then spreading the funkily umami spread over a grilled steak and finishing it off with a sprinkle of chopped parsley. They'll be asking, "what's that flavor," because the garlic adds such a wonderful sweetness and tang. While coming back for another bite
Since you'll probably be making a lot of black garlic, it would be nice to share it with other foodies. Donate a jar as a token of appreciation to the hostess. Sure to be a hit with them
My mother, who I gave one to, was so curious that she opened it immediately to inhale the pungent odor of fermented garlic. She has ambitious plans for hers.
- Remove 16 pieces of tin foil, each measuring about 6 inches in width, from the roll. Use a pair of scissors to make a horizontal cut through the stack of foil. Set aside
- Get some plastic wrap and cut it into pieces that are about 5 inches wide and big enough to wrap a single head of garlic. One garlic head per piece of plastic wrap; set aside.
- The garlic cloves should be individually wrapped in foil. Keep it aside after you've double-wrapped it in foil. Wrap each individual head of garlic in two layers of paper.
- Put the wrapped garlic cloves on a rack in the bottom of the Instant Pot.
- Fasten the top and close the air vent. Prepare a 99-hour "Keep Warm" delay using the Instant Pot. A reminder to set the timer every 4 days until the garlic is ready.
- Ferment the garlic in a warm place for three weeks (resetting the timer if necessary).
- Black garlic should be stored in airtight containers at room temperature; after removing the foil and plastic wrap.
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