The cool and damp days of Autumn are setting in across Southern Ontario. Days are getting shorter, blankets are getting thicker and food is getting warmer. It’s a lovely time of year which was recently made better when we went out for bowls of Ramen (a Japanese noodle soup originally made popular in North America by over-salted instant disposable bowls of instant soup then further fetishized by restaurants such as Momofuko) which were accompanied with crispy dried garlic chunks.
I’m a fan of shaking things onto food. Dried chilies, parmesan cheese, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and other less-common flavours from our pantry (dried mushroom and dehydrated beet powders are flung about our kitchen with reckless abandon). I’m a condiment guy through and through and the discovery of this golden crunchy condiment was an utter revelation. It added crunch, sweetness, a slight burn and the unmistakable appeal of garlic. To keep it crunchy I resorted to shaking a small bit on each clump of noodles that I pulled from the soup with only the slightest notable uncertainty gripping the noodles between chopsticks.
I had to try to make it. Crispy dried garlic had to be in my kitchen.
I came home and peeled a lot of garlic (not as much as when I peeled 30 pounds of garlic a few yeas ago but a lot by my standards today). Once it was chopped, I slowly fried it in copious amounts of butter before tossing it in the dehydrated overnight. What came out the other side was near perfection – crispy pieces of dried garlic as good (or better) than the commercial product that lit my imagination.
If you have a dehydrator this recipe is a snap!
A few notes on on making Crispy Dried Garlic
- If you aren’t discerning about your source of garlic this could be an ideal recipe to use the mass trays of pre-peeled garlic (but don’t use pre-chopped).
- You can speed up chopping by using a food processor. If you have a high speed blender you can wet chop the garlic (this technique is my preferred way to make relish-sized chunks that are perfect for this).
- Because you are dehydrating butter you may wish to store this one in the fridge – candidly I have made it and kept it on the counter for more than a month though I’m not sure it will usually last that long around these parts..
- 2 pounds garlic
- ¼ cup butter
- Chop the garlic fine (see notes for speedy ways to do this)
- Melt the butter in a wide saucepan over medium heat.
- Add garlic to the butter, slowly cook until browned and most of the butter has been reduced and absorbed by the garlic (about 10 minutes)
- Spread garlic on dehydrating trays. Dry at 135 degrees (assuming you have a temperature setting) stirring after the first 3 or 4 hours to help prevent clumping (if clumping happens it can easily be broken apart after).
- The garlic is done after 8-10 hours. To test the garlic for complete dryness remove a small piece from the dehydrator and place a piece on a plate to cool to room temperature for 10 minutes. Bite the piece and it should be brittle and dry throughout.
If you’re a garlic fan like I am you may also want to check out our recipes for Smoked Garlic Powder or Smoked Garlic Scape Salt.