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Crispy Garlic Oil

Crispy garlic + garlic-infused oil is an essential condiment in my kitchen. The crispy garlic can be used as a topping for many Chinese dishes such as oyster sauce vegetable, while the garlic oil is great in stir-fries, as a salad oil or for general seasoning. This is one dish I prefer home-made, because I’m using olive oil which I think is healthier than the other types of vegetable oil used in store-bought ones.

More Home-made Oil Recipes:
Fried Shallots Recipe

I have been making crispy garlic oil for many years, and while the recipe is really very easy, the temperature and timing have to be very precise to get it right. The oil must be sufficiently hot so that the garlic will crisp, but not too hot that they become burnt and bitter. Check out the step-by-step pictures below.

Freshly chopped garlic
For best results, I use freshly chopped garlic (though it is perfectly ok to use instant bottled chopped garlic if you are busy). I use an electric chopper as a speedy short-cut.

Crispy Garlic Oil Recipe
Heat olive oil in a small wokpan or pot on medium heat. The oil is ready when you start seeing tiny bubbles gathering. Test the temperature by dropping a small piece of chopped garlic into the hot oil – it should sizzle gently and float up immediately.

Crispy Garlic Oil Recipe
Add all of the chopped garlic into the hot oil.

Crispy Garlic Oil Recipe
Stir the garlic every now and then with a heat-proof spatula, so that the garlic cooks evenly. If you don’t stir, the garlic at the edge of the pot browns first.

Crispy Garlic Oil Recipe
Optional: When you see that the garlic is changing colour, take the wok off the heat and swirl the pot, or stir gently with a spatula, until the garlic is of an even, light golden shade (see below pic, left).

Crispy Garlic Oil Recipe
When the garlic turns light golden brown (pictured left above), transfer the contents to a heat-proof bowl. The garlic should still be bubbling in the hot oil as shown. Let the garlic cook gently in its own hot oil  until it reaches a perfect golden brown (pictured right above), about 3 to 5 minutes.

Crispy Garlic Oil Recipe
When the oil has cooled, you can separate the crispy garlic from the oil using a strainer.

Crispy Garlic Oil Recipe
Storage: Keep the crispy garlic in a small tin container with a thin layer of garlic oil covering it. The remaining garlic-infused oil is great for stir-fries, salad dressing or seasoning oil.

Crispy Garlic Oil Recipe
I always refrigerate the tin of crispy garlic in oil, where it keeps for at least 2-3 weeks. The oil will solidify as pictured above. To use, spoon what you need and the oil thaws quickly at room temperature or in the wok. P.S. I have not tried and do not recommend re-heating oil using the microwave oven.

Garlic Oil Baby Bok Choy
This is just one example of how I usually use the crispy garlic in my favourite home dish: oyster sauce vegetables.

4 comments on “Crispy Garlic Oil”

  1. Your kitchen must have smelt heavenly while making this aromatic oil. I should make a batch too.

  2. Agree with Angie! For garlic lovers, the garlic aroma in the kitchen must be heavenly :P I never make them at home though. Also love crispy shallots(and oil).

  3. Do you need to separate the garlic from the oil? Can it just be stored together?

    • Separate it if you want the garlic-infused oil by your kitchen countertop for quick cooking and usage. Otherwise you can also store together as it thaws quickly at room temperature.

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