Black garlic: 6 most important facts

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For many of us, the origin of black garlic is a mystery. In this article, you will learn: what is black garlic, how does black garlic differ from ordinary garlic, evaluate simple and healthy recipes with this exotic vegetable, and also learn how to prepare black garlic at home.

What is black garlic?

Black garlic is not a special variety, but a clove of regular fermented garlic. The final product does not have the usual garlic smell, is sweet in taste, and has a texture reminiscent of dried fruits. You can see black garlic in almost every menu around the world. It is so much popular nowadays.

However, black garlic is nothing new. It is being used in many Asian cuisines for more than hundred years. It is also used in ayurvedic treatment. People from other corners of the world do not know much about black garlic and for this reason they often ask or search on google: what is black garlic.

Black garlic is basically normal white garlic which is treated in a special way. You have to maintain proper temperature and humidity to prepare black garlic. We will tell about this in the following section.

How to get black garlic?

Black garlic is not a vegetable that is grown separately or differently. Rather it is basically the ordinary white garlic which has gone through prolonged heating. And of course the heating process was cautiously maintained. This process is basically a fermentation process that allows the garlic to release melanoidin naturally and becomes black in colour.

Black garlic is one of the rarest ingenious finds. It happened in Ancient Korea: people accidentally noticed that after lying for a long time in warm, slightly damp straw, garlic begins to turn black, but does not deteriorate, but acquires new properties. And if you grind it and add salt and a little vegetable oil, you get such a seasoning for the meat that it is impossible to forget the dish. This taste is now called fifth or umami.

So the Koreans began to keep garlic in clay pots, which are kept for 60 days in wet straw, self-heating up to + 60 ° C. Now everything is easier: the garlic heads, without peeling, are placed in a special electronic pan. In it, they languish for three weeks at a temperature of about 65-70 degrees with a high level of humidity (in an ordinary rice cooker for the same period, black garlic is also obtained in the “heating” mode).

This process is not even really fermentation. In fact, garlic is caramelized in this way, like onions when languishing: the amino acids and sugar contained in it are broken down, and melanoidin is formed, an almost black polymer substance, which gives the cloves a new taste and color. Garlic that has undergone such processing, as in baking, loses its pungency and pungent odor.

In the photo you can see how the color change occurs during the fermentation process:

preparation process of black garlic

Now your question was: how to get black garlic. Now you may ask us that: can we make or prepare black garlic at home.

The answer is: Yes, you can. Now next question is: how can we convert white garlic into black. And what are the equipments that we will require.

Things we need for preparing black garlic:

  • Oven or Multi-cooker.
  • Foil Paper.
  • Fresh garlic. It can be of any variety. All we need is fresh white garlic.
how to prepare black garlic at home

Steps to make it

  • At first we have to make the garlic clean. We have to remove all the dirt from the body of the garlic. For this purpose, you can use a sponge. Rub the garlic with the rough end of the sponge.

    Keep in mind that, you should not wash the garlic or make the garlic wet. It will impact on the aging process of the garlic.
  • Then you have to wrap the garlic with three layers of foil paper. It prevents the odors from spreading and also protects the garlic from various bacteria.
  • Take your cooker. Keep it on “warm”. This setting will provide you with proper temperature and humidity. The multi-cooker takes about 15 days to complete the process.

    If your multi-cooker turns off every 24 hours, then must remember to turn it on again.
  • If you are using an oven, then please keep in mind that you have to place the garlic at a 60-degree angle.

    Keep in mind that, if you are using an oven you will not be able to use that oven for about 40-60 days.
  • Do not over-crowd the garlic. Keep enough distance among them so that the garlic does not touch each other.
  • In 2-3 weeks, you will see the cloves have become black and soft.
  • After the process is finished, you will be able to store those black garlic for 3 months. But you have to use an airtight container to store the black garlic.

EVEN THOUGH THE GARLIC IS NOT BEING COOKED, THERE WILL BE A STRONG ODOR OF GARLIC THERE.

Alas, cooking in an apartment or on the balcony is not recommended due to the specific garlic smell. This is best done in an open area or in a summer kitchen if you live in a private home. Simply saying, while preparing your favourite black garlic, you may create discomfort for others.

Where does the black colour come from?

This unusual black colour comes naturally. For this you do not have to use any additives. During the fermentation process, melanoidins are formed. The sugar and amino acid that is present in the garlic forms this melanoidins. And it causes the black colour.

Black garlic is now very trendy, healthy diet. However, it has been used in Korea for four thousand years. It is well known in Thailand too. In these countries, black garlic is considered as a divine gift that brings people health and longevity. 

A second life to black garlic was given by a Korean entrepreneur Scott Kim. The company he founded, Black Garlik Inc., was based in the United States, first imported ready-made black garlic from South Korea and then established its own industrial production of this product.

Benefits of black garlic

The Koreans quickly realized something else: the new version of garlic also has medicinal properties. It is a strong antioxidant, immune stimulant, natural antibiotic. At one time it was said that black garlic almost cures cancer.

The concentration of zinc, sodium, copper, carbohydrates, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, amino acids, calcium and vitamins is 10 times higher in black garlic if we compare it with classic garlic. 

benefits of black garlic

After the end of fermentation, the vegetable loses its sharpness, acquires a pleasant, slightly sweet taste. Its structure becomes soft, a little oily, and the smell is less harsh.

The benefits of black garlic for the human body have been proven by various institutions around the world:

  • It has excellent disinfecting properties, so it is considered a natural antibiotic
  • It serves to protect the immune system from bacteria and viruses.
  • It helps to stabilize blood pressure and strengthen the heart
  • If you use black garlic 2-3 cloves a day, hemoglobin level will be normal and the function of blood vessels will improve. 
  • Black garlic is recommended for people with liver problems: this vegetable regenerates cells and cleanses the liver, maintains the balance of salts and water in the body. 
  • Food cooked with black garlic perfectly cleanses the intestines and stomach from toxins, improves metabolism and digestion. 
  • Dishes containing this unique vegetable will help normalize sleep, get rid of irritability and strengthen the nervous system.

Definitely, black garlic is one of the newest trends of the current gastronomy. And we understand why. It surprises, evokes new emotions, and it is for them, and not to fill the stomach, foody, that is, people who are keen on uncommon food go to a restaurant.

Harms of black garlic

Based on medical practice and people’s reviews, this product does not directly harm the body. But, despite the above useful properties of this product, black garlic has some contraindications. 

Black garlic is undesirable to use it for people suffering from stomach ulcers, acute gastritis and pancreatitis, kidney and liver diseases.

Do not eat too much of the vegetable to avoid nausea, bloating and other stomach problems. The norm per day is 3-4 cloves. Follow the cooking procedure carefully to avoid poisoning.

The use of black garlic in cooking

There are a great many recipes with this exotic product, but the following dishes are especially popular among Ukrainians:

Fried young potatoes with garlic sauce

This wonderful side dish is widely used due to the piquancy of black garlic and its ease of preparation. 

Boil the potatoes in slightly salted water for about 15 minutes, not until cooked through. Cooking the sauce: crush black garlic (4 cloves) with a fork with olive oil (1 tablespoon) until a paste is obtained. Add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil + vinegar (1 tablespoon) + pepper and mix the boiled potatoes with this sauce. All that remains is to bake the dish in the oven and you can serve it with the remaining sauce to the table. 

Rice with fried vegetables and black garlic

To make this dish, you will need rice, fermented garlic and vegetables: 1 carrot, 1 bell pepper, green peas, mushrooms, onions, celery, and herbs to taste. 

While the washed rice is boiling, heat up the pan, add a little oil and lay out the vegetables. Add herbs and salt, close the lid and fry over medium heat for 5 minutes. 2 minutes before the vegetables are fully cooked, add black garlic and mix it with vegetables. Boiled rice can be washed and allowed to drain completely, then serve with vegetables.

Salad with black garlic, tomatoes and cheese

This nutritious and healthy salad includes: 1 avocado, tomatoes, cheese, garlic, lettuce, olive oil and salt for dressing. 

Dice the avocado along with the cheese and tomatoes. Gently tear lettuce leaves and finely chop the garlic. Prepared vegetables can be placed in a bowl and mixed with spices and olive oil (sunflower oil will also work). 

Black garlic oil

Many of you may have heard that Japanese people add black garlic oil to their ramen so that it becomes more flavourful and energetic. Now, question may rise in your head: what is black garlic oil? Until now we were discussing black garlic which is itself a new food item to many of us. Now comes another thing. Let us discuss what is black garlic oil.

What is black garlic oil?

I hope you have understood everything up until now. So, now it is the proper time to understand what is black garlic oil. After you have gone through the procedure of making black garlic, you have to squeeze the garlic and collect the oil from it. This oil does not have the raw taste or odor as like the classical garlic. This oil can be directly added to your favourite ramen to make it more enthusiastic.

How does black garlic oil taste?

If you think that the soup or ramen you are having is little dull or it is just giving you the same monotonous taste then undoubtedly it is time to add some black garlic oil to that. In Japanese black garlic oil is known as ‘mayu’. And they add this to there ramen to not feel any raw taste; rather it gives a sweet flavour. It is quite different from what we expect from white traditional garlic.

And what will we eat with this black garlic oil?

  • Ramen;
  • Fried rice;
  • Fried chicken and so on.

Here are some of our top recommendations for black garlic oil products:

Benefits of black garlic oil

Black garlic is not just a taste maker or any mere spice. It has its own list of benefits. It benefits:

  • Health
  • Skin
  • Hair

We can take this oil regularly and enjoy all sorts of benefits. Lets have a deeper look at its benefits:

  • Better immune system.
  • Improves blood circulation.
  • Nourishes the heart.
  • Works as a natural anti-biotic.
  • Ensures smoother skin.
  • Reduces hair-fall.

I hope now you guys have a clear idea on black garlic and black garlic oil. For further query please check out the following FAQ section:

FAQ on black garlic

1. Where is black garlic popular?

Black garlic is one of the most important spices in Asian cuisines. A little more than five years ago, black garlic entered the markets of the USA, Australia and the European Union countries, and has already become an integral part of “haute cuisine”. Black garlic is also gaining popularity in Russia.

2. What are the advantages of black garlic over regular garlic?

Firstly, there is no smell – you can safely eat before an important meeting or date. 
Secondly, the taste is pleasant and sweet, like raisins. 
Thirdly, it is better absorbed by the body. 
Fourthly, in the process of fermentation, its properties as an antioxidant are improved by 10 times.

3. Useful properties of black garlic

In ayurvedic medicine, it is believed that black garlic:
1. Has a positive effect on the circulatory system: it helps to combat atherosclerosis, stabilizes pressure, stimulates the heart, improves the elasticity of blood vessels;
2. Improves digestion, restores liver function, helps prevent obesity;
3. Helps fight diabetes, is a natural sweetener;
4. Has a beneficial effect on cell division and growth – has a rejuvenating effect;
5. Due to the content of a large number of nutrients, it stimulates the body’s immune system, relieves fatigue. 
Like regular garlic, it effectively fights inflammation and colds.

4. How can you consume black garlic?

You can eat black garlic as your heart desires. It can be in its pure form. Can be used as an addition to bread, cheese and olives. 
In addition, it can be used as a seasoning: feel free to add it to any dish – no matter meat or fish. Chefs make various sauces from it, and in Europe, the so-called compound oil is made from it. And black garlic, of course, will decorate your table, leaving neither your household nor your guests indifferent.

5. Are there any contraindications for eating black garlic?

During fermentation, garlic loses its “chip” – the initial components for the formation of allicin, to which it owes its pungent taste and smell, which can irritate the respiratory and digestive systems, as well as the kidneys in some people. So, apparently, the only contraindication for eating black garlic is individual intolerance.

6. Garlic and chocolate – incompatible concepts?

Ordinary garlic may not be combined with chocolate, but black is used in the manufacture of dark chocolate. 
Black garlic is added to energy drinks.

7. How long does home-made garlic oil last? 

Homemade garlic oil can be stored for 2 to 3 weeks. Keep garlic oil in a cool place and keep away from light.

8. Is black garlic good for you?

If you do not any specific health issues like stomach ulcers, acute gastritis and pancreatitis, kidney and liver diseases, black garlic will definitely be good for you.

9. Is black garlic soft?

Yes, of course. after the complete process it becomes very soft and you will be easily able to chew it.

10. Is black garlic fermented?

Yes. The process through which we get black garlic from classic white garlic is called fermentation.

11. Is black garlic good for diabetes?

As we have mentioned above, black garlic is a natural anti-oxidant. And it is medically proven that anti-oxidant reduces the chance of cancer and diabetes. So, in other words we can say black garlic is good for diabetes.

12. Is black garlic good for high blood pressure? [Can black garlic lower blood pressure?]

Yes, undoubtedly black garlic is good for controlling your blood pressure. If you regularly consume black garlic you will definitely observe your blood pressure reduced.


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