WHAT IS IT?
Garlic bulbs are kept for weeks at in a humid environment at low temperatures, the enzymes that lend fresh garlic its sharpness begin to break down and the bulb ferments a bit, turning black. The garlic is cooled on racks and allowed to air dry for another week. The resulting obsidian cloves are significantly sweeter, with a mellow and savory umami flavor. The bulbs are then ground into powder.
The aroma is mildly pungent; the flavor is tangy and sweet. It is garlic’s equivalent to a rich balsamic vinegar. It offers a hint of soy sauce, and a little tamarind with a smoky mouthwatering umami-molasses edge. When powdered, black garlic is one of the wonders of the spice world, ready to be sprinkled on anything that requires earthiness and complexity. It’s also nice when you want something richer than roasted garlic, which is more mellow but lacks depth.
Black garlic powder is a humble ingredient from Korean cuisine that found its way into the cuisines of the oceanic traders of Asia, and now is a fave of modernist and molecular gastronomy pro chefs in Europe and North America.
- Kkanpunggi 깐풍기, a spicy black garlic-infused fried chicken stir-fry with sweet, hot sauce.
- Kimchis – A mellower, and less pungent kimchi uses black garlic.
- Bibimbap – bowls of wonderful stir-fried or roasted meats and vegetables.
- Add to energy drinks
A FEW IMPROVISATIONAL RIFFS:
- Gangham burgers: Add black garlic, gochugaru red pepper flakes and doenjang Psy-up your beef on a bun!
- Sprinkle with salt and a few drops of lemon juice on fish being grilled.
- Put some wow on your baked Bao buns by sprinkling a little on after glazing them with egg white wash.
- Add some umami madness to your vinaigrette dressing!
In Korea, black garlic has been around for more than 1,000 years. It was most often used as a health product and it is still perceived as health supplementary food. For good reason: It’s a major superfood, rich in antioxidants. In Thailand, black garlic is believed to increase longevity.
- Fermented black garlic powder
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