How to Mince Garlic and Other Methods to Prep It

How to Mince Garlic and Other Methods to Prep It
Photo by Liz Mochrie from Flickr
SHARE - Garlic is a go-to ingredient for many cuisines including Italian and Asian cooking. It’s important to prep it properly. Otherwise, the food might be peppered with large nuggets of overpowering garlic, that will result in an unpalatable flavor that affects the food.

In this article, you’ll learn how to mince garlic, as well as how to crush and slice it into fine pieces. Depending on your cooking, you’ll have to choose different methods to prep your garlic!

How to Mince Garlic Cloves

Photo by Cookthinker from Flickr

Let’s start to learn how to mince garlic to prep the cloves! Minced garlic is finer, around the size of small grains of couscous, or less than 1/16-inches.

Minced is better for sauces, dressings, or a dish that is sautéed and cooked quickly so that you don't have large pieces lingering, like stir-fries.

To know how to mince garlic properly, follow the given instructions below:

Step 1. Trim off the root end of clove, then crush clove gently between the side of the chef’s knife and cut board to loosen papery skin. The skin should fall away from garlic.

Step 2. Using two‐handed chopping motion, run the knife over garlic repeatedly to mince it. Keep one hand on top of the blade and make sure to rock the blade back and forth as you move it across a pile of garlic.

Step 3. Mincing garlic to a smooth paste is a good idea in many recipes (such as sauces or dressings). Sprinkle salt, preferably kosher, over chopped garlic. Coarse grains of salt help break down garlic faster.

Step 4. Continue to mince garlic and alternate with a scraping motion. Turn knife on its side and scrape blade back and forth over garlic to form a sticky, smooth paste.

Pay attention to how fine you chop garlic. The finer the mince, the stronger the flavor. If you’re not sure how to mince garlic properly on your own, or feel as if not skilled enough to do so, or your knife is just too dull to do the job, then you can invest in a garlic press.

A garlic press can break down cloves more finely and evenly—and quickly—than the average cook wielding a knife. Plus, with a good garlic press, you don't have to stop and peel the cloves. It won’t cause much hassle, so it’ll be a win-win solution for your cooking!

How to Crush Garlic

Photo by Cookthinker from Flickr

After learning how to mince garlic, let’s move on to learning how to crush garlic! Garlic is primarily crushed to release its oils, which in turn infuses subtly different flavors to the dish than if you didn't crush. 

Crushed garlic is pretty standard in several Italian dishes. The advantage of having one or two large crushed pieces is that you can easily remove them from the dish once you're satisfied with the aroma or taste of the dish. This can be extremely annoying to do with minced garlic.

Crushing your garlic is fairly easy. Simply place the clove on a chopping board. Take a heavy knife, such as a chef's knife, and place the blade flat on the clove. Use the heel of your hand to press the blade down on the clove.

You can smash your hand down onto the side of the blade if you are into theatrics but a solid press should be enough to crush the clove. You don’t even have to peel the clove as the skin loosens when you crush. 

How to Slice Garlic

Photo by Mike from Flickr

Not only learning how to mince garlic and how to crush it, but it’s also important to know the best way to slice the cloves since their small size can make them difficult to slice.

For long-cooking braises and stews, it’s best to roughly chop or thickly slice garlic so it slowly melds with the other ingredients. Follow these instructions to know how:

Step 1. First, trim the root end of the clove of garlic and discard it. Make sure that you don’t remove too much from the clove of garlic.

Step 2. Remove the papery skin from the outside of the clove of garlic before you can slice it. Place the clove of garlic under the blade of your knife and, with the flat side of the blade against the clove, press down until the paper skin starts to crack. Then, simply peel the outer skin away from the clove and discard it.

Step 3. Then, with your fingertips tucked back to avoid injury, carefully slice through the clove of garlic crosswise, producing a slice. Continue cutting at even intervals for uniform slices.


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