Why You Should Always Use Sliced Garlic In Your Stir Fry

Beef stir fry in pan
Beef stir fry in pan - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

You probably peel and mince fresh garlic to use in a stir fry along with other vegetables like onions, peppers, mushrooms, and a protein like chicken. Or maybe you take an easier route and use a jar of that store-bought minced garlic or make it even easier and sprinkle in garlic powder. All of these options are satisfying ways to use the ingredient in a stir fry, but sliced garlic is an even better way to incorporate its flavors into the dish.

Why? For starters, minced garlic can burn rather quickly -- especially if you don't add it to the pan at the right time -- or it's left in for too long while all of the flavors of the stir fry meld together. In comparison, sliced garlic won't cook as fast, will elevate the garlicky flavors in the dish, and can provide more texture in each bite. After it's cooked, garlic gets a more mellow flavor, which will be noticed more with these slices, instead of their flavor being lost with those tiny minced pieces.

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Preparing And Using Sliced Garlic In Stir Fry

Garlic bulbs and peeled cloves
Garlic bulbs and peeled cloves - Chrisboy2004/Getty Images

To prepare sliced garlic, start by peeling fresh cloves. If you want to save time, snag pre-peeled cloves at the store. Remember, the flavors can be rather stringent, so three to four cloves should do the trick in a stir fry. After it's peeled, cut off the top and bottom parts that were attached to the bulb. Next, carefully use a sharp chef's knife to slice it crosswise into pieces. You don't want chunks of garlic in the stir fry, so make them thin -- without cutting your fingers. If you prefer bigger slices in the stir fry, cut the cloves left to right lengthwise.

Now, your sliced garlic is ready to cook and be added to the stir fry. If you want to start the stir fry with the garlic, add it to a pan heated over medium heat and let it cook for about 30 seconds. To prevent burning, stir it occasionally while it's sautéing. It's ready when it becomes fragrant. Cooking the garlic first is a solid technique to ensure it gets that texture and mellowed flavor mentioned earlier. Add your other vegetables, go-to protein, and condiments like soy or fish sauce, then let it cook together according to the recipe to allow it to blend with the other flavors.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.