Chopping Garlic – how to

How to chop garlicChopping Garlic can be done Goodfellas style with a razorblade.  The idea there is to chop it so thin that it just dissolves when added to the oil in a pan.  It looked good in the film but frankly it takes too long.

I chop Garlic with a chefs knife and here is how:

Chopping the ends off garlic

1. Get a single clove (segment) of garlic and chop each end off.

Chop one side of the garlic

2. Chop off the thin side of the wedge shape of your clove of garlic

Peeling a clove of garlic

3. The skin of your garlic clove will now peel off easily in your fingers. Bin it.

crushing garlic

4. Crush the garlic clove using the heel of your knife as shown. This is one of the reasons you want a reasonably sized knife.

Crushed Garlic

5. The garlic will now look like this.

Chopping Garlic 1st cuts

6. Letting your knife rest against the fingers holding the garlic clove guides it and allows you to control the slice size. Cut as finely as you can. This takes practice, but is much faster with a chefs knife because of its larger blade. You can't rest a smaller blade against your fingers in the same way. It is also safer. You are less likely to cut yourself.

Garlic after first slicing

7. Your Garlic clove will now look something like this with all the cuts in roughly the same direction. Turn the pieces through 90 degrees so that your next cuts will be perpendicular to the first cuts.

Dicing Garlic

8. Repeat step 7 which will result in diced pieces of garlic. Don't worry if every piece is not tiny. Just get it as close as possible to tiny cubes without putting too much effort in (this is the lazy cook after all).

Fine chopping Garlic

9. Now to get your garlic clove into truly tiny bits. Hold the knife as shown. Keep the blade at the tip pressed against your chopping board and raise and lower the handle in a see-saw motion. Go over and back over your diced garlic. It will stick to the blade. Just wipe it off and keep going until you are satisfied with your results. It will not take long.

Finely Chopped Garlic

10. The finished product. Finely chopped Fresh Garlic. You can't beat it for flavour and aroma.

A little more information on garlic.

Garlic is a member of the onion family.  Classed as both a vegetable and a herb, it is used extensively in Italian cooking (Italians know a thing or two about food!) and is very good for you.

It has been claimed that garlic can reduce cholesterol, reduce blood pressure and even help prevent some types of cancer.  Under test-tube conditions garlic has been shown to have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.  Indeed Louis Pasteur (he of penicillin fame) used it as an antiseptic to prevent gangrene.  It also has high levels of vitamin C.

Most importantly it will prevent vampire attack (allegedly, although there is anecdotal evidence that some vampires have developed tolerance to garlic except in exceedingly high doses).

Fresh Garlic VS Dried Garlic

Dried garlic usually comes in chopped or powdered forms.  The joy of dried garlic is that there is no chopping involved.  But since you have read this page to here you already know how to chop garlic.

Fresh garlic smells and tastes much better.  It will also take smaller quantities to achieve the same “garliciness”.

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