Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fried Garlic Oil

Okay, this doesn't quite count as food per se, but if I could have any one condiment in the world, it would be garlic, or fried garlic, with fried shallots coming in second closely behind. Why? Because it is absolutely amazing, and goes with pretty much anything savory! Stirfrys? Totally. Toast? Sure do! 

I learnt this growing up in my grandmother's kitchen. She would have a big glass bottle of these right next to where the soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar would go. In a Chinese kitchen, that is prime property, and would only be reserved for only the most important and widely used condiments. Even yellow bean sauce goes somewhere else!

Anyway, my grandmother adds this to everything. I'm not even kidding. She cooks everything with garlic oil, and boy does it taste soooooo good. If I could, I would like to have my grandmother's fried rice every day. Or prawn noodles. Or kueh pie tee. Or anything that comes out of my grandmother's kitchen. There's a family joke around that says that anything my grandmother makes is delicious - even her poop. Yes, my family is fun like that.

So, there really isn't a 'recipe' for this, it really is just fried garlic, but here goes.

  • garlic, minced (however much you want)
  • cooking oil (but not olive oil)
  • pinch of salt

  • The first step is really easy. Just very finely mince the garlic. I minced five heads of garlic at a go, by hand. It took me an hour, but its well worth it. 

  • Put all the minced garlic goodness in a pan, and fill the pan wit cooking oil, until the oil almost covers all the garlic. 
  • Add a pinch of salt. My pinch was about a teaspoon.

  • Turn the heat on high. You'll start noticing bubbles forming in the oil. When bubbles start forming, start turning the heat down.

  • The more bubbles you have, the lower your heat should be.
  • Once the garlic bits start looking to turn golden brown, remove from heat and let cool. They will continue cooking and eventually turn golden brown.

  • Move the garlic bits to one side of the pan, while using a spoon to remove the oil to a container. KEEP THE OIL - it is delicious! If you skip this step, the garlic bits will not be crunchy, but that is fine for most people too. I like mine crunchy.

  • Let the crunchy garlic bits hang around in the open for a while. It will be crunchy this way. After 30 minutes or so, you may spoon the garlic bits into the container with garlic oil.
  • Use it for anything. If you're like me, you'll start protecting this little bottle with your life, and being very careful not to waste even a single drop of garlic oil. Yes, it's that good!

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