Peeling and chopping garlic can be a lot of, forgive the pun, paperwork. However, there are ways to make it easier in your kitchen. Without further ado, let’s talk about a few of them!
How to peel and chop garlic like a pro
Peeling garlic can be tricky, as the cloves themselves are slightly sticky, meaning that the garlic can retain the skin annoyingly well. The best way to avoid this is to remove the base and stem of the garlic cloves first (to ‘top and tail’ it), and then lie the close on its side on your chopping board (affiliate link).
Lie the flat of your knife across the clove of garlic, and then gentle but firmly, smack the blade with the heel of your hand. This will crush the clove of garlic just a little – enough for it to become misshapen, allowing for the skins to be quickly removed.
Chopping garlic can be a little more tricky. We would recommend holding the clove on a flat side and angling the blade of your knife slightly away from you. You reduce the risk of injury while also pushing individual slices away from your working area.
Once you have individual slices, push them into a small pile and sprinkle a little salt over the top. The salt allows the garlic to be chopped more finely by making it clump together – this results in very finely chopped garlic indeed. Holding the point of your knife down on the board, lift and lower the handle repeatedly while also turning the blade so that the pile of garlic is chopped through on several occasions.
Separate Garlic Cloves
To easily separate garlic cloves, you can rely on the physics of your hands and fingers. Place the bulb of garlic between the palms of your hands as though you’re about to give yourself a high five. Interlace your fingers and gently press your palms together until you hear a few gentle cracks. Rotate the bulb and do this again, making sure to do this a few times.
Once you’ve done this, the bulb will be weaker, meaning you can place it between your palms, and twist one hand toward you and one hand away – this will efficiently and quickly separate the cloves.
How to cut garlic?
Cutting garlic into slices is simple, but doing it finely is very important. Fine pieces will fry better, leading to a more pronounced flavor in your final dish.
First of all, peel your garlic and remove the top and tail of each clove. Then, place your left hand’s index and ring fingers on top of the clove, pressing the blade flat against your fingers. Your fingers act as a touchstone for the top of the knife, ensuring that the cutting angle is consistent. Then, press down through the garlic in one motion before pulling your fingers back and repeating the motion. As you do this more, you will become faster and better!
How to store peeled garlic?
There are a few ways to do this, and they’re all entirely dissimilar.
First, you can preserve peeled garlic by cooking it confit (baking it in oil) and then adding the cooked cloves to your dishes by scooping them out of an oil-filled container. You could also pickle cloves of garlic in white vinegar, though that would also affect the taste of the cloves themselves.
Perhaps the best option is to freeze your cloves. They can be frozen whole or, in a way that is quite a lot better, as a paste. To cook this way, peel and finely chop the cloves into a paste and add them to an ice tray or a freezer-safe storage bag. We recommend using an ice tray because a box of frozen cubes of garlic paste can be a convenient thing to have. Each cube can be added directly to a pan and represents roughly a tablespoon of garlic.
With all this knowledge under your belt, prepping garlic will be easier for you! Make sure to go ahead and change up your garlic routine soon to ensure that you can live an easier kitchen life.