Saturday, September 25, 2010

How to Store Garlic

Koreans eat lots of garlic. Garlic is on top of my grocery list too whenever I go shopping, and I always keep fresh garlic cloves in my vegetable basket on a corner of my countertop within easy reach. Since I use garlic a lot in my cooking, sometimes peeling and chopping garlic in the middle of cooking five different dishes at the same time can be quite hectic. So, those pre-chopped garlic that comes in a jar was quite tempting whenever I went on grocery shopping. My #1 rule of cooking which is to use the freshest ingredients, however, has kept me on the good side and I always buy fresh garlic instead. Few months ago, my mom who has 30 plus years experience of feeding a family of six on Korean diet showed me her shortcuts. She buys the freshest garlic from the market, peel, mince, freeze a batch, and cut it into pieces in size of approximately one serving. So, I compromised. I still keep fresh garlic in my vegetable basket, but I also have a bag of frozen garlic cubes in my freezer in case I run short of time when I am cooking.

Though we can find garlic in supermarkets year-round, the best garlic season is in summer. Couple years ago, we went to the Gilroy Garlic Festival. I remember we both came back exhausted because of the scorching heat. It was one of those days when you can hardly breathe the air because of the heat. I don't think we are going back there any time soon, but it sure was an interesting experience. They sell everything garlic there including garlic ice cream and of course garlic fries, etc. The garlic ice cream was not bad at all. And I also really liked their garlic hat which is very cute.

Last, the health benefits of garlic is widely known that they don't need to be repeated here. We all know it's very good especially for your hearts.

First peel off outer skin of garlic with hand.
Now you can use this wonderful device, a garlic peeler. It works great especially when you trim off the ends of each clove with a knife before rolling them in one of these peelers.
I measure about two cups of garlic cloves for each batch.
Grind them in a mixer.
Line a square container with plastic wrap and then evenly spread the garlic batch to about 1/2 inch thick. Then freeze overnight.
Cut the frozen garlic into your preferred serving sizes.
Store them in a zipper bag in a freezer.


Spoon and Chopsticks said...

Interesting garlic storage tips, Migi. I also use garlic a lot in my cooking.

Renee said...

Really clever.

bomo said...

Wow!! I'm so impressed with this garlic storage option. I've learned to store my chopped green onions in the freezer from koreans and now I'll be able to store chopped garlic before they turn all moldy.

Renata said...

...and I was so proud to have found a gadget to make garlic cubes (in Korea!)... (
Your technique is so much simpler!
Thanks for sharing!

Renata said...

Hi Migi,
You know,I really enjoy reading your blog, so I chose it as one of my favorites to grant an Award. Please visit my blog and find out all about it here:

Fly said...

I love your blog... I've been searching for a good Korean food resource, and I have to say this is the best I've found so far! Most of the time, I can't find ingredients from the recipes on the other sites, but your recipes really work for the area I live in :D
Thank you for making this blog! Ill be stalking it regularly :D

Migi said...

Thanks all for your comments. I'll forward all the credits to my mom :)

Laura said...

Thanks for sharing this technique- it looks so simple!

I do have a question about serving size. What size should I cut the garlic to equal a tablespoon?

Migi said...

Laura, 1 tablespoon equals approximately 1 cubic inch (1"x1"x1")

Anonymous said...

Hello Migi,

my chopped garlic cubes were turning green after a week in the freezer. Am I doing anything wrong? Thanks

Migi said...

Hi there,

I looked up online and this is what I found:

"If the garlic is not fully ripe and dry, it can turn green in the presence of sunlight or heat due to the formation of a chlorophyll like compound. This same reaction can happen in the presence of acidic foods like vinegar, onions, lemon juice, etc. or with copper found in some utensils and/or tap water. It is harmless and can be fixed by either letting the garlic mature (at room temperature) or heating it more until the proper color is achieved."