Boiled Garlic – Everything You Need To Know

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Garlic is one of the most aromatic ingredients you can use in your recipes. A clove or two of garlic will make the flavor of your dishes a lot richer and more complex. 

However, some people find the flavor of fresh garlic to be too overpowering. But skipping it in the recipes is not the best idea. This is one of the reasons why you should learn about boiled garlic.

What is boiled garlic? Boiled garlic is simply garlic cloves boiled in water. Boiling garlic tones down its pungent flavor and softens the cloves. You can use boiled garlic in nearly any recipe that calls for raw garlic. 

This article includes everything you should know about boiled garlic, including how to make it, its flavor, texture, and uses. We will also give you some helpful tips for boiling garlic. 

What Is Boiled Garlic? 

The only reason many people may wonder what is boiled garlic is because garlic is not the most common vegetable cooked by boiling. But boiled garlic is exactly what the name says—it’s garlic cloves cooked in boiling water

What Does Boiled Garlic Taste Like?

The flavor of garlic can range from spicy and pungent to mild and sweet depending on how you cook it. If you like the garlic flavor in your dish to be intense you need to break down the cloves. 

On another note, cooking time also affects the intensity of the garlic flavor. The longer you cook garlic, the milder it tastes

So, boiled garlic tastes a lot milder than raw garlic, or garlic that has been chopped and fried for a short time. 

What Is The Texture Of Boiled Garlic?

Fresh garlic has a firm and crisp texture. If your fresh garlic feels soft, it’s time to discard it. Young fresh garlic can also be slightly sticky. The stickiness will go away when you boil the garlic cloves. 

Boiled garlic, on the other hand, has a softer texture. The longer you boil garlic the less crispy it will become. The more you chop garlic, the more intense the garlic aroma gets. 

How To Boil Garlic

As you would expect, making boiled garlic is very easy. Nonetheless, here are step-by-step instructions for boiling garlic. 

  1. Prepare the garlic cloves. Loosen the garlic bulb and separate as many cloves as you need at the moment. Leave the rest of the bulb intact. 
  2. Peel the garlic cloves.
  3. Add water into a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Make sure there’s enough water to cover the cloves
  4. Add the garlic cloves to the boiling water. You can also season the garlic water with salt, as well as saffron, cinnamon, and other spices for a unique flavor. Adding a small amount of oil into the boiling water is optional too. 
  5. Cook the garlic cloves in boiling water for a few minutes until they are soft enough to be easily pierced. If you want to preserve some of the crispiness of the garlic cloves, boil them for around a minute. 
  6. When the garlic cloves are cooked, drain and serve them as is or use them in your favorite recipe. 

How To Store Boiled Garlic

Once the boiled garlic cloves cool, transfer them into an airtight container and store them in the fridge for a maximum of three days. The boiled garlic cloves will eventually dry out and go bad so the sooner you use them the better. 

To prevent the garlic cloves from drying out, you may try preserving them in olive oil.

Preserving garlic in olive oil is a common practice for fresh raw garlic. However, there is no reason why you can’t preserve boiled garlic cloves in oil too. 

Store boiled garlic submerged in oil in the fridge and use it within a week. Don’t waste the oil left behind as it will have a mild garlicky aroma. 

How Do You Use Boiled Garlic?

Boiled garlic is as versatile as fresh garlic. In fact, if you often skip garlic in recipes because of its intense flavor, you may try substituting it with boiled garlic. Here are a few ways to use boiled garlic. 

  • Serve boiled garlic as is. Top it with fresh chopped parsley and maybe a drizzle of olive oil. 
  • Add it to mashed potatoes to make them taste richer while keeping the garlic flavor at bay. 
  • Make garlic bread.
  • Use boiled garlic in stews, soups, and sauces for a milder flavor. 
  • Make dips and spreads. 

5 Tips For Boiling Garlic

If you like the idea of boiled garlic, here are a few tips you could use. 

1. Boil Unpeeled Garlic Cloves 

One of the most annoying things about garlic is peeling it. If you have decided to boil a lot of garlic but don’t want to spend a lot of time peeling it, simply boil the unpeeled garlic cloves. 

Similar to boiling peeled garlic, you should cook unpeeled garlic until it’s soft enough to be easily pierced with a knife or fork. Once you take the boiled unpeeled garlic cloves out of the water, they will be very easy to peel

2. Don’t Discard The Boiled Garlic Water

Garlic is a very fragrant vegetable. Thus, the water you have boiled garlic in should be very flavorful too. You can use some of it in sauces and soups you are preparing

Aside from the flavor, the garlic water will also have some of the nutrients that the cloves have leached out while being cooked. 

3. Use Milk To Boil Garlic

When the natural oils in garlic are exposed to air, they cause the garlic to turn bitter. If you find your fresh garlic to be bitter, add some milk to the water when boiling garlic.  

It is a common practice for chefs to put garlic in boiling milk to remove the bitter flavor. 

4. Continue Cooking Boiled Garlic In The Pan

You can use boiled garlic in various dishes. However, another great way to use it is to continue cooking it in the pan with some oil. 

Once you have boiled the garlic cloves, chop them as finely as you like. Heat a small amount of oil in the pan and add the chopped garlic to it. Keep stirring the garlic until all the pieces are glazed and golden brown.

You can then add this glazed garlic pieces to any dish you like, including various sauces, soups, and stews.

Boiling the garlic before cooking it in the pan yields a softer texture and milder flavor compared to garlic that has only been fried. 

5. Try Boiling Garlic In Vinegar

For boiled garlic that also has a mild pickled flavor, try boiling it in vinegar. This is also a great method for preserving garlic

Once you have boiled the garlic in vinegar, put the cloves into jars (these are our favorite jars for this) and pour the vinegar over them. Unlike traditional pickled garlic, you don’t need to add any spices or herbs. 

When it’s time to use the garlic, rinse the cloves under running water to get rid of the vinegary aroma. You can skip this step if you enjoy the garlic having a vinegar bite to it. 

Is Boiled Garlic Good For Health?

Garlic is an amazing flavoring agent for a range of dishes, sauces, marinades, and vinaigrettes. In addition to its great flavor, garlic also has many health benefits. 

Fresh garlic is low in calories but high in various vitamins and minerals. Garlic is a source of vitamins C, B6, K, folate, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus

Fresh garlic is also a good source of allicin. This is the compound that gives garlic its strong odor. 

Allicin in fresh garlic has many health benefits. It may help regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

This active compound may also provide potential benefits for people suffering from chronic inflammatory diseases. 

With this said, research suggests that exposing garlic to heat diminishes its nutritional value.

Namely, cooked garlic has a lower vitamin content, including a lower amount of vitamins B and C. Boiling, in particular, reduces the vitamin C content of garlic as the latter is water-soluble. 

On another note, the vitamin K content remains the same in boiled garlic as it is fat-soluble. 

Concerning the minerals in garlic, they aren’t heavily affected by the boiling process though a small amount of calcium and other minerals may leach during the cooking process. 

As noted above, garlic is praised for its high allicin content. But there is bad news for people who eat garlic only if it has been boiled. Boiling reduces the allicin content of garlic

If you want to get the health benefits of this compound, you better incorporate more fresh garlic into your dishes. 

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