By Lynnie Stein / January 3, 2019

Fermented Garlic


There are many miracles in the world to be celebrated and, for me, garlic is the most deserving. – Leo Buscaglia

Forget about the Apple a Day and replace with a Fermented Garlic Clove a Day to keep the bacteria and viruses away.

Antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. The king of the kitchen + medicine kit.

8 months to grow and 4 months to ferment into pure amazeballs DEELISH. So mellow, like munching into a fresh picked apple. Cover peeled garlic cloves in brine (salty water) make sure the bottle is airtight (Fido is a good choice). Try not to have any floaters – you can use a weight or a small jar with brine inside to keep the garlic submerged. Fermenting time depends on the size + type of garlic and room temperature.

  1. Peel garlic
  2. Cover with brine.

Huge garlic will require more salt … 1 tablespoon salt to 1 cup of clean water.

Small garlic clove variety … 1 tablespoon salt to 4 cups of clean water.

  1. Submerge … Glass jars (Fido) You can place a small glass bottle on top (filled with brine) to avoid any floaters. Or use weight.

Seal tightly and do not disturb.

Place bottle / crock out of direct UV / sunlight.

Loosely cover glass bottle with a dark tea towel or cotton tea cosy.

 Small size garlic will be ready for taste testing in 4 weeks.

4 months for the big garlic cloves to fully ferment but it will be soooo worth the wait.

The taste will be mellow and the fermented garlic clove soft but still with crunch. Perfect partner for fermented nut or dairy cheese.

Harvest or purchase new-season young organic garlic.

The fermented garlic are perfect added to salads, dips, dressings, sauces, and sprinkled on any number of creations or dried and ground to a powder.

Satisfying and dramatic with any fermented dairy or nut product or pulled into a paste.

This one is great slathered on crisp toast or on sprouted crackers or on its own by the spoonful! And exceptionally good for you!

One of the beauties of fermented garlic is the leftover brine.

Power packed with flavor. It is basically a garlic vinegar. Use the brine in salad dressings, sauces or to season vegetables.

Add a little “kick” to a bloody Mary recipe.

Experiment with other alliaceous bulbs … onions, shallots, leek rings. It works with ‘em all!!

Japanese Garlic

 In Japan, a unique type of garlic preparation has been used for centuries as a traditional health food. The women of Satsuma prepared garlic cloves with egg yolk into ninnikudama garlic ball.

The samurai could take on their long walk to Edo, taking up to 40 days for the 1.700 kilometers. So, it was tough walking 30 kilometers every day and you had to stay healthy.

Sometimes the garlic was fermented before making the balls until it was all black and more powerful than white.

Ninniku shiso

Garlic pickled with red perilla leaves

Pink Pickled Garlic

The pink pickled garlic gets its color from red shiso (the same one that gives umeboshi plums and sushi ginger their red color), used extensively for fermenting.

300g new-season young garlic (peeled)

1 cup red ume-su (the brine that accumulates when making umeboshi, colored red with shiso)

Simply pour vinegar over peeled garlic in a glass fido type jar.

Store for one month before eating, will keep one year or more.

Katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes), can be mixed into the brine to give the garlic cloves a nice umami and depth.

Umeshiso ninniku plum basil garlic with plums and red perilla leaves

Ninniku shuu garlic wine sake

500 g garlic + 1.8 liter rice wine 35% alcohol + 250g sugar

Ferment for 2 months, constantly shaking the container.

Macerate Japanese garlic in raw soy sauce (Nama Shoyu) for one to two weeks.

Use as a condiment and use the flavored sauce in dressings and marinades.

Ninniku Miso-Zuke

 This is the bomb!! A Japanese pickle made by pickling garlic cloves in a miso mixture … a quick version is to immerse peeled garlic cloves in miso in a Fido type jar.

A handful of fresh organic garlic cloves

1 cup miso paste (red miso is a good choice)

1/4 cup mirin

1 clean, wide mouth litre jar

Separate the garlic cloves. Trim the garlic ends, remove the outer skin and peel off the thin filmy membrane layer.

Blanch garlic cloves for 1-2 minutes in unsalted water. Pull them out and pat dry with a clean paper towel.

In a small bowl mix together mirin and miso thoroughly.

Place a thin layer of miso at the bottom of your jar then make alternating layers of miso and garlic cloves.

(Note: You do not want the cloves to touch.)

Continue the layering process until you run out of ingredients or reach the top.

Finish the top with a miso-mirin mixture layer and make sure all the garlic cloves are covered with miso.

Close jar and place in the fridge. Allow to ferment for at least one month. The garlic gets better with age.

Remove excess miso mixture and serve. You can also wash the cloves and then pat them dry before serving.

Use as an accompaniment to a meal or just eat as a snack. 

Mix garlic infused miso paste with avocado for the best Aussie vegemite

Ninniku Hachimitsu-Zuke

This recipe (honey pickled garlic) is garlic soaked in honey for two months, producing a sweet Japanese pickle used as an appetizer or condiment rich in flavor. Honey infusion, not a fermented product!

The honey can be used as a cold remedy, by taking several spoonful’s thinned with hot water before going to bed.

Time is depending on room temperature and the size + type of garlic cloves.

Separate each clove of garlic. Using a sharp knife, remove the hard-outer skin, thin filmy skin and trim off the base root. Or make music by placing garlic cloves inside two stainless steel bowls / wok with lid and shake your booty! Or soak in cool water.

Wash and dry completely. Use a paper towel to pat dry the cloves.

In a small fermenting jar (Fido), pack the garlic cloves. Pour the honey over the cloves. Wait until the honey reaches the bottom of the jar before adding additional honey to cover the garlic cloves completely.

Gently shake the jar. If the surface of honey subsides, add more honey to cover. Cover with the lid and let stand in a dark, cool place.

The honey makes a great digestive (after dinner drink) if thinned with hot or cool water.

Honey is often used in Japanese cooking + alternative medicine, for mouth ulcer or sore throat (add garlic honey to sliced Daikon radish to make a juice).

Popular honey in Japan is taken from flowers called “Milk vetch (renge in Japanese)” and “Acacia”.

Make a persillade, a combination of finely chopped parsley and honey garlic, and toss with pan-fried potatoes to accompany grilled meat or eggplant steaks.

Stuff a chicken with a few rosemary sprigs, preserved lemon / lime, and a handful of honey garlic cloves, roast, and squeeze the lemon over the chicken before serving.

Garlic, Turmeric Kombucha mustard

Making your own Kombucha mustard is insanely simple, and so tasty!

Kick up Vinaigrettes, dips, bangers with mash and ‘kraut, eggs, avocado, rubbed under chicken skin before roasting and stirred into beef, lamb, goat or pork stew before the end of cooking. In Ancient Egypt, mustard was used as respiratory therapy and later, in the Middle Ages, asthma was treated with this pungent, Sulphur containing seed.

Kombucha Mustard … cover mustard seeds with kombucha tea (add fresh garlic / turmeric)

Cover container with muslin /cheesecloth or coffee filter tightly wrapped with a rubber band.

Leave in a dark place until mustard seeds are soft – 7-14 days – check that seeds are always below the liquid – may require an occasional top up with kombucha.

After fermentation, whizz in food processor with added dash of Himalayan salt and any spices you desire.




King of the kitchen … fermented garlic
Honey infused garlic
Garlic Kombucha Mustard

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