Garlic is a delicious, tasty vegetable that belongs to the allium family. Its strong and spicy taste makes it the backbone of many mouth-watering recipes. Some of the compounds that make garlic flavorsome include allicin, disulfide, allyl propyl, etc. These sulphuric compounds also contribute to garlic’s pungent characteristics. However, garlic nutrition facts are unbeatable. And this explains why people have valued garlic’s aroma and medicinal properties since ancient times.
Most people prepare garlic in various ways when cooking their favorite dishes. Some may use a knife to chop garlic into small pieces, others cook it whole, but most people prefer to mince it. Garlic powder is also another popular form of garlic that you will find in grocery stores.
So, What Is Minced Garlic?
Mincing is one of the best ways to prepare garlic recipes. It is a straightforward food preparation method that suits a recipe with garlic perfectly. You can use a food processor or a knife to mince YOUR garlic. When using a knife, you have to peel and mince. However, some food processors will not require you to peel the garlic. The ultimate objective is to achieve a fine texture of fresh garlic.
Mincing gives garlic a pasty texture that blends well with your recipe. It not only makes it easy to cook but also allows you to distribute garlicky flavor in any dish evenly. Therefore, minced garlic refers to garlic that has been finely cut or chopped consistently into small pieces.
How To Peel And Mince Garlic
There are different ways to mince garlic. For example, you could use a knife to hand mince a garlic clove, an electric chopper, or a garlic press. In this section, we will focus on the different methods of mincing garlic.
Mincing With A Chef’s Knife
There are two ways to mince garlic with a chef’s knife. The first one is to loosen the papery skin on the garlic. Next, peel your garlic and put the cloves on a cutting board. Slice one medium-sized clove repeatedly into thin slices. Pay attention while slicing to avoid injuring yourself with the knife. Once you are done cutting, mince the cloves repeatedly until you achieve a fine uniform texture. Use the knife to mince the garlic back and forth until you achieve a grain-like size.
The second method entails smashing peeled cloves under the blade of your knife on the cutting board. Again, you only need the flat side of your knife blade to smash individual cloves back and forth.
This technique is also known as hand mincing. It is the easiest way to mince fresh garlic when you don’t have other tools to do it. And it helps you achieve properly minced and pressed garlic for your recipe. Moreover, you only need a couple of basic kitchen utensils. In this case, you require a chef’s knife and a cutting board. Therefore, most people prefer this simple mincing method. Also, it is ideal for small garlic amounts.
Micro Planning With A Microplane Grater
A Microplane grater, also known as a rasp grater, works with the same principle as the ordinary grater. However, this kitchen utensil makes mincing garlic extremely easy. With the Microplane grater, you only need to loosen papery skin on your garlic and peel it carefully.
Once the garlic cloves are ready, run them on the grater’s teeth gently. You need to pay attention to avoid hurting your fingers when grating garlic. Please do not cut the garlic before grating it. A bigger clove lengthwise is easier to hold and run on the grater. Microplaning garlic cloves takes just a few minutes. Remember, the finer the mince, the better it is for cooking.
A garlic press or garlic crusher is uniquely made for mincing garlic. Its design incorporates some grid-like holes and a piston. A good garlic press is essential for medium-sized garlic cloves. After peeling garlic cloves, put them in this crusher, and force them through the holes with the piston. Next, apply gentle pressure to mince each clove.
Pressing the piston is not easy, but it produces some garlicky juice that could be terrific for cooking. In addition, it is one of the best ways to get an alluring garlic flavor out of the recipe. So, if you want superb minced garlic, invest in a good garlic press.
Using An Eelectric Garlic Chopper
Kitchen appliances such as the electric mini garlic chopper may come in handy when cooking garlic. If you have one, peel your garlic properly and put it into the chopper. Next, pour some olive oil into the chopper and hit the power button. The chopper will mince your garlic clove in a few seconds.
To achieve fine consistency on your garlic, do not overdo it. This means that you only need to run the chopper for a few seconds to get the right mince. Using this technique to mince garlic is quick and convenient.
How To Use Minced Garlic
When using minced garlic, you want to mask its bitter compounds. To achieve this, add garlic to your cold pan when the other ingredients are already soft. Also, do not cook garlic under high heat for a long time because this will make it more bitter.
When To Mince Garlic
If you don’t intend to use your garlic any time soon, you should store it in its most natural form. But if you want to use it instantly, prepare it to suit your dishes. Most recipes will require you to mince garlic. The truth is that minced garlic blends well with most dishes. However, it is important to know when to mince garlic.
Before you peel and mince garlic, think of the recipe you want to prepare. For soups, braises, and other slow-cooking dishes, you don’t need to mince your garlic. However, minced garlic works well with fast-cooking dishes.
The rule of the thumb is always to peel and mince your garlic while still fresh. The objective is to achieve a flavor balance within your recipe. You do not want it too strong, neither do you want it too weak.
Is Chopped gGarlic The Same As Minced Garlic?
People choose to mince garlic for different reasons. But, in most cases, the recipe is always the determinant. Minced garlic helps bring the best out of certain dishes, but braises and soups may not augur well.
Chopped or cut garlic tends to have large pieces, that when you bite it, you will recognize it instantly. On the other hand, minced garlic is pasty and finer. Therefore, it is perfect for sauces, sauteed dishes, and dressings. That said, most dishes and recipes tend to go well with minced garlic.
How Long Should One Store Minced Garlic?
You can store leftover minced garlic in a refrigerator. However, it would be best if you put it in an airtight jar or bag. Also, you need to know that minced garlic will not stay fresh for long. Even if you store it in a refrigerator, it will lose its potency and flavor within a few days. Minced garlic is only good when you use it fresh. Always mince the right amount to avoid storing it for a long time.
In a nutshell, minced garlic refers to crushed, cut, or grated garlic. The main benefit of mincing garlic is achieving a finer texture. Therefore, when cooking with fine garlic, you can expect a better distribution of flavor in the food. Moreover, minced garlic goes well with most dishes. This is because mincing garlic reduces its overpowering and pungent characteristics.