How To Chop Garlic

Many of the recipes here, and in general, call for chopped garlic. For very good reasons at that. Garlic (often along with onion) helps flavor oil. This permeates through what you cook later in the oil. Garlic, especially raw, has many healthy benefits. It boosts the body’s production of a compound that relaxes blood vessels, increases blood flow, and prevents blood clots and oxidative damage. But many don't prepare garlic ideally, and that can have a great effect on the taste of the dish you're preparing. For example, use a food processor and you're chopping garlic in randomly-sized bits, at random angles. All of which will create a much more bitter flavor than using the method shown here, to mince it. A garlic press is at least an improvement, but put down your Zyliss. Because even the best garlic press will not give the same results as a simple chef's knife (or cleaver). Nor will it be as easy to clean.

Apart from the fact that you can't push all of the clove through the holes of a press (leaving behind the outer layers of the clove), what does come through is not crushed nor chopped in the same way as a flat blade would do. Neither the garlic pulp nor its oils produce the same texture or taste. The pulp produced by a press is a bit more watery and leaning toward bitter. The pulp produced by the chef's knife method is stickier and more mellow. The more mellow flavor of the "oil" from the knife method is superior in taste and nutrition. Since the garlic flavours other ingredients, that difference in taste can have a significant influence on the dish in general. Don't believe me? Process a clove of garlic through a press, than using the method I show below; then taste each. You'll see and taste a difference.

1. Cut the root end off, keeping
knuckles close to the blade.
2. With your palm on the flat side of
the blade, crush down with force,
to loosen the papery skin of the clove.

 3. You have now loosened the
papery skin on the clove.
4. Grab the tip opposite the root
end, and wriggle the paper free.

5. Sprinkle a generous amount
of salt on the clove (reduce
salt in recipe by as much).
6. Crush the clove again with force,
using the flat side of your blade.

7. Wriggle the blade of the knife
side to side, while pressing
down hard with the palm of
your hand to crush the
garlic well.
8. This is what it looks like
after it's been crushed.

9. Chop the garlic into
fine pieces, in both
10. Smear and spread the garlic
pulp back and forth against the
cutting board, with the side of
your chef's knife, to flatten and
mash it down further.

11. This is what it looks like
after being fully chopped
and mashed.
12. Scoop the garlic on to the
side of your knife, to aid in
adding it to your recipe.


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