Knowing how to properly prepare and mince garlic is a basic cooking skill that will help you to make many tasty dishes. Whether you mince garlic with a knife as usual or use one of the other alternatives, learning the technique of mincing garlic takes only a few minutes. With a little practice, you’ll soon be able to add minced garlic flavor to your favorite dish like a professional chef.
Method 1: Using a knife
Separate each clove of garlic from the garlic bulb. You can’t mince garlic until it is ready for use. Press down on the garlic with your hand. Each clove of garlic will separate when you press on the garlic.
The outer sheath, which looks like paper and is easily torn, can be peeled and removed from garlic cloves. Don’t remove small cloves of garlic hidden under the sheath.
Most recipes specify how many cloves of garlic needed. If not, a medium-sized clove of garlic will give a tablespoon of minced garlic.
Peel the garlic. The clear, tightly wrapped outer sheath of each clove of garlic needs to be peeled off before processed.
You can cut off the stem at the end of the clove (where it attaches to the bulb) and squeeze the clove out of the sheath gently but firmly.
Another way is placing the blade surface on the garlic clove and press down firmly until the sheath opens. Then, use your hands to peel the garlic. Be careful not to crush the garlic cloves, mixing the garlic flesh with the sheath.
Chop garlic cloves vertically and as thinly as possible. Using a sharp knife will work, but due to the small clove of garlic, you have to be very careful not to cut your hands.
A secret that chefs often use to avoid cutting their hands is to hold what they need to cut (in this case, garlic cloves) with the tips of their fingers, arching the knuckles when pressing on the cutting board. In this way, the surface of the blade will touch the knuckle, creating a gap between the knife and the tip of the finger, reducing the risk of an accident.
For better knife control, you should hold the knife on the cutting board and lift it gently to cut instead of moving the knife up and down.
Cut the garlic horizontally. Rotate the garlic horizontally to 90 degrees and continue slicing. Once again, cut thinly to make the garlic pureed. Use the cutting technique similar to the instructions above.
When you finish, you will get dozens (or hundreds) of small garlic cubes. Congratulations – you’ve just minced a clove of garlic.
If desired, you can continue to hash the garlic. The longer you mince the garlic, the more pureed it will become, which will add more and more flavor to your dish. If the recipe calls for it, continue to move the knife back and forth to mince the garlic until there is a generous amount of minced garlic.
Note: Minced garlic is garlic that has been minced many times to form small pieces. Big pieces of garlic are not pureed garlic.
Method 2: Not using a knife
Prepare and peel the garlic as usual. In this section, you will learn a few alternative ways to mince garlic if you don’t have a suitable knife. In these ways, you will also need to prepare the cloves of garlic before you start mincing. In other words:
-Split the garlic bulb into small cloves.
-Remove sheath from garlic cloves.
-Peel the garlic cloves by squeezing each clove of garlic or crush it with a knife and then peel it.
In this step, we will introduce different ways to mince garlic.
1. Mince garlic with a fork. An easy way to mince garlic is using a fork. This will require a bit of force from your hand, but it works surprisingly well. Do the following steps:
-Place the garlic on the cutting board and use a sturdy metal fork.
-Press the tip of the fork on the garlic. Press down firmly to push garlic through the gaps of the fork.
-Turn the fork and repeat the operation in the other direction. Continue to repeat the operation to get the finished product.
-Push the small, sticky pieces out of the fork and remove the stem from the garlic. Now, the garlic is ready to use.
2. Use a garlic press. Another handy tool you can use to make minced garlic is a garlic press. This device is like its name: squeeze garlic into small pieces. Use the garlic press as follow:
-Add the garlic clove to the inner metal part of the press.
-Squeeze both hands. The garlic will be squeezed through holes in the other side of the press.
-Remove the pieces of garlic that are still stuck on the press. You can now use garlic.
You can use a pestle and mortar instead, both of which have the same effect.
3. Use a microplane (planer). Microplane is a small device that looks (and works) like a cheese grater. Grating the garlic with the microplane will quickly give you thin pieces of garlic.
To use the microplane, simply rub garlic on the grated blade and place it on a bowl. Pieces of garlic after grated will fall into the bowl.
When the garlic becomes too small to hold with your fingers, cut it into small pieces or crush and then add to the grated garlic.
4. Use an all-purpose blender. Most all-purpose blenders can be used to grind garlic. Turning the blade a few times is enough to make a puree of garlic. However, because garlic cloves are too small, it is unreasonable to use a multifunctional blender to grind a clove of garlic, but this is an appropriate option if you need a large amount of minced garlic.
Tips: The method of crushing garlic or grating into thin pieces (for example, pressing and grating) will give a stronger flavor than traditional garlic mincing. Note that this will easily make your food smell like garlic. Also remember that finely minced garlic is more likely to be burnt than a whole clove or large pieces of garlic.