Many of our Filipino dishes, the pancit molo I posted a few days ago a good example, relies heavily on toasted garlic for flavor. So how do we turn fresh cloves
into these crisp, golden nuggets of aroma and flavor?
Here are my tips on how to toast garlic:
- Add the garlic in warm oil (NOT hot!) and cook in low heat until golden brown. Garlic burns fast and if you add it to already hot oil, the outside will brown before the inside sufficiently crisps.
- Fry in enough oil to allow the garlic pieces to swim freely in the pan. This is to ensure even browning. The garlic is fried low and slow, infusing the oil with its wonderful flavor and aroma. Use the flavorful oil for sauteing and in dishes such as sinangag or beef salpicao.
- Do not chop or mince garlic to prevent from burning too fast. Just crush the cloves one or two times and you’re good to go. Once browned and taken out of the pan, the garlic pieces will crisp as they cool and you can easily break them into desired bits.
- Arroz Caldo-top a piping hot bowl of rice soup with toasted garlic for an extra layer of yum
- Pancit Palabok-add toasted garlic to the wide array of toppings and expect a fiesta in your mouth
- Pork Adobo-this is one dish that can’t have too much of garlic!