Preserving Garlic in Soy Sauce



This recipe isn't difficult, but it takes a lot of time. First the garlic has to pickle in vinegar (our homemade white wine vinegar in this case) and then it is allowed to pickle in a mixture of soy sauce and sugar.

I tried the garlic pickles tonight (their pickling time was finally up) and was amazed at how crisp the garlic cloves are especially considering how much the soy sauce seemed to be fermenting in the jar. Yup, they were crisp and fresh tasting!

They taste exactly like you'd expect, like soy flavored garlic with a hint of sweetness. I just didn't expect them to be so crisp.

I don't like these nearly as much as the Honey Garlic Pickles and I probably won't make them again. But having a bit of garlic flavored soy sauce might be kind of fun while it lasts. The pickles will certainly get used in as many Asian dishes that I can think to put them in. And it's definitely an interesting way to preserve garlic.












Ninniku Shoyu-Zuke
Garlic in Soy Sauce
from Tsukemono: Japanese Pickling Recipes by Ikuko Hisamatsu

10 whole garlic bulbs
2 cups rice vinegar (we didn't have any so used our homemade White Wine Vinegar)
1 1/4 cups soy sauce
2 TBS sugar

"Quite a few people dislike the strong smell of garlic. I learned this recipe in Korea and now it's everyone's favorite since the vinegar-pickling process reduces the characteristic odor."

The recipe reduces the odor of the garlic considerably as claimed by the book, but this is replaced by the unmistakable smell and taste of soy sauce.

Choose round bulbs so they will form pretty plum blossoms when cut horizontally in half.

Peel the outer skin with your hands leaving only one layer of skin. (Okay, this part was a pain.)

Trim away the stems for tight packing.

Sterilize a small pickling jar in boiling water. Pack it with garlic bulbs.

Pour rice vinegar to cover. Let stand in a dark place for two weeks.

Remove 2/3 amount of vinegar. Save this vinegar for salad dressings as it will have a nice garlic flavor to it now.

Mix soy sauce and sugar until the sugar dissolves.

Pour over the garlic and cover with the lid. Let this jar sit in a dark place for a minimum of two months (not the refrigerator).

Just before serving cut horizontally in half.












I can't imagine serving garlic like this. I don't know how garlic is served in Japan, I can't imagine just eating it straight. Chopped up in something, certainly, but to serve it like the above photo? Really? This is a traditional recipe by a Japanese, um, pickler, so I can only imagine that some Koreans (where the author got the recipe) as well as Japanese must sometimes eat garlic straight along with a meal.

Not me! I'll be using it in stir-fry, fried rice, Asian style soups, and who knows what else. But not straight.

12 comments:

Jessica said...

When I was in Japan I ate TONS of pickled garlic (and it was usually pink, I don't know why).

Genie said...

Oh, please Jessica, tell me more! Did you just eat it straight or did you do something with it? How did you use it?

I wonder if it was pink because the soy sauce was different somehow?

Jessica said...

I don't think it was done in soy sauce at all--I'm not sure why it was pink. If you go to my blog and click on the keyword "Japan" I blogged quite a bit about my adventures--although I'm not sure I have a garlic pic :)

And we were always served them in whole cloves. They were usually eaten straight but also with curry. I don't find it impossible that they would eat them the way you showed them though!

Genie said...

I will most definitely have to come check out your Japan entries!

They could have been pickling the garlic in just about anything, I suppose. I definitely like it pickled in honey, delicious!

Eating garlic with curry, interesting! Was the garlic sweet or ?

Denise Clarke said...

Garlic is one oh my husbands favorites. He is Austrian born and those guys are garlic fiends ... they eat it raw ... WOW! Pickled with soy sauce sounds kind of good and I bet it mellows its out a bit ....

I'll give it a try

Denise
http://WineFoodPairing.blogspot.com

Genie said...

The garlic honey is delectable, I think the soy garlic pickles are for true garlic fiends. I had no idea Austrians were mad for garlic!

Dee said...

Wow! I love it & I am just realizing this is a whole world I could dive into down here, it looks like something I must just try! Very good information! Genie, I posted the cinnamon rolls! Thanks for the comments!

Anonymous said...

I've got the same book you are using. I did the Misozuke last year with garlic (I raise a lot of garlic in the winter). The miso mellowed out Chesnok Red garlic (which is pretty strong). The miso is great for soup, about a Tbsp or two in a cup of boiling water. The cloves are really incredible. As strong as the Chesnok is when it's fresh, the cloves are crunchy, mild, and tasty after a year bedded in miso and mirin in the back of the icebox. Yesterday, I started the garlic in vinegar/soy and today I put up 3 pints of garlic in honey. I'm looking forward to sampling them in a few months.

As soon as my current batch of kimchi is consumed, I'm going to try a batch of your cortida...

Happy picking....

Anonymous said...

I've got the same book you are using. I did the Misozuke last year with garlic (I raise a lot of garlic in the winter). The miso mellowed out Chesnok Red garlic (which is pretty strong). The miso is great for soup, about a Tbsp or two in a cup of boiling water. The cloves are really incredible. As strong as the Chesnok is when it's fresh, the cloves are crunchy, mild, and tasty after a year bedded in miso and mirin in the back of the icebox. Yesterday, I started the garlic in vinegar/soy and today I put up 3 pints of garlic in honey. I'm looking forward to sampling them in a few months.

As soon as my current batch of kimchi is consumed, I'm going to try a batch of your cortida...

Happy picking....

Anonymous said...

Following the recipe in the same book, I put up some lovely garlic cloves in honey but after 3 days I noticed the lid bulging, opened it and it foamed over for a few minutes. I used raw honey -- should i have boiled the garlic, used cooked honey or ???
Any help is appreciated.
PS the pink is from red shiso leaf and it used for color in pickling ume and ginger.

Anonymous said...

Following the recipe in the same book, I put up some lovely garlic cloves in honey but after 3 days I noticed the lid bulging, opened it and it foamed over for a few minutes. I used raw honey -- should i have boiled the garlic, used cooked honey or ???
Any help is appreciated.
PS the pink is from red shiso leaf and it used for color in pickling ume and ginger.

Genie said...

Hello Anonymous. No, you don't have to boil the honey or blanch the garlic. This stuff is going to ferment, you just need to make sure you don't fill the jar completely so it has room to do it's fermenty thing, and don't put a very tight lid on it--just cover it loosely and put it on a plate or a tray so that if it bubbles over, it doesn't make a mess. If you feel you must put a tight lid on it, do open the lid two or three times a day to let it breathe. After it has done it's thing it settles down, but you can always refrigerate it to halt the fermentation process if you feel the need.

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