If you LOVE garlic as much as I do, this DIY minced garlic preparation will become your new favorite kitchen trick!
Have you ever bought crushed garlic in a jar? It’s off colored, soaking in water, full of preservatives, and lacking in flavor. Of course nothing will ever beat the pungent punch that fresh minced garlic provides, but if you use garlic on a regular basis then you’ll appreciate the convenience of reaching into the fridge for a jar of real garlic and never look back at the bottled stuff again.
But the best part is, it saves you tons of time down the road. I hate the hassle of peeling and chopping garlic every time I need it (which is… well, every time). That’s why I love buying my garlic in bulk from Costco, which offers fresh pre-peeled premium garlic-y goodness in a 3 lb. bag. This is one of my favorite things, ever.
Of course even I, a mere mortal, can’t polish off a 3 lb. bag of garlic fast enough. Which is why I’m so glad that my family passed down this little Indian trick for always having minced garlic on hand. This garlic paste last in the fridge for months without losing its potency or changing color, and the rest of it can be easily frozen and defrosted when you’re in need of more.
The process is super simple: buy fresh peeled garlic (or wait for a great sale, and buy garlic in bulk and peel it yourself), and toss it in a food processor with oil and salt and give it a buzz. That’s it!
The oil and salt help preserve the garlic, and you can use any oil of your choice. I choose avocado oil since I mostly use my garlic in stir-frys, so it’s good to consider an oil with a high smoke point. If you’d like to use olive oil, I would select a light olive oil which can withstand higher heat and has a neutral flavor (not EVOO).
Keep in mind, since the salt is essential for preserving the garlic, you may need to adjust your dish’s seasoning since you will get some saltiness from this garlic paste itself.
One thing I really love about this DIY minced garlic preparation is that you can mix it up any way you like. Sometimes I toss in some Thai chilis to make a chili-garlic paste, saving prep time down the line. And, you can actually use this salt & oil preservation method on other refrigerator staples like ginger or lemon grass paste.
Another great benefit is that as you grind the garlic you have control over how fine it’s chopped (use the pulse button to get different degrees of chop). Whenever I do this process, I like to do half of the batch as a fine paste and the other half as a rough chop (because who doesn’t love biting into a burst of garlic, right!?).
Once it’s chopped up, place it into clean glass jars and top it with additional oil (the part that touches the air is subject to mold, go ahead and submerge it).
And that’s it! You can use it in any and all recipes that call for minced garlic, crushed garlic, or garlic paste. I love using it in Thai dishes, like my special Vegan Pad Ka Prao (Chili-Garlic Tofu). Mmmm.
Consider this a public service – helping the masses have garlic at an arm’s length, sleeping comfortably at night knowing that they have a year’s supply snuggly nestled at the back of their freezer. You’re welcome America.
Don’t take my word for it! Stock up on REAL garlic, and be ready to have this ever ready minced garlic become your secret weapon for all of your favorite dishes.
- 3 cups of whole garlic, peeled
- ½ cup oil of your choice, plus extra for topping
- 1 tbsp salt
- Wash and air dry your glass jars, and set them aside (wide-mouth mason jars work great for this, because they are freezer safe)
- Purchase a bulk bag of pre-peeled garlic, or purchase fresh garlic gloves and remove them from their skins. If you decide to wash them (I don't), make sure you let them dry thoroughly before processing.
- Place your peeled garlic into a food processor 3 cups at a time, and add the oil and salt before giving it a quick few pulses. Pulse depending on how fine you want it (garlic paste vs. minced garlic), scraping down the sides as you go.
- Place processed garlic in your dry jars, leaving about a half inch space to top with oil and allowing space for expansion during freezing. Place extra bottles of garlic in your freezer for later use, and enjoy immediately from the refrigerator otherwise.
As you use the garlic, add additional oil to prevent mold (just enough to cover the top). If mold does occur, it is safe to remove it with a clean spoon and top with additional oil.
PS. I use this DIY minced garlic in everything, and sometimes I just eat it raw straight out of the jar. Please don’t judge me.