Laba Garlic Recipe – Easy Kitchen Guide

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By Dr. Leah Alexander | Published on October 9, 2023 | Last Updated on October 9, 2023

Today, we are going to explore an intriguing and flavor-packed recipe that will make your taste buds dance – the Laba Garlic. Originating from the rich and diverse Chinese cuisine, this recipe is traditionally prepared at the Laba Festival, which is why it’s named so.

Laba Garlic is a unique blend of garlic cloves soaked in vinegar, turning them into a beautiful jade-like color. This condiment, with its tangy, slightly sweet, and intense garlic flavor, is not just a treat to the palate but also a feast for the eyes. It’s a wonderful accompaniment to dumplings, noodles, and many other dishes, adding a zing that elevates the overall taste.

Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or a daring food enthusiast, this recipe is a must-try. So, let’s roll up our sleeves, gather our simple ingredients, and delve into the world of Laba Garlic, where tradition meets tantalizing flavors.

Laba Garlic Recipe

What is Laba garlic?

Laba Garlic is a type of pickled garlic that is traditionally prepared and consumed during the Laba Festival in China. This festival falls on the eighth day of the twelfth month in the Chinese lunar calendar, which usually falls around late December to early January. The name “laba” comes from the Chinese word for “eighth”, as this festival is celebrated on the eighth day of the twelfth month.

Laba Garlic is made by soaking whole garlic cloves in vinegar, which gives them their distinct jade-like color. The longer the garlic soaks in the vinegar, the more intense and tangy its flavor becomes. This pickled garlic is often used as a condiment to add a burst of flavor to various dishes.

Why You’ll Love This Laba Garlic?

There are many reasons why you’ll fall in love with Laba Garlic. First and foremost, its unique flavor profile is a standout feature. The combination of tangy vinegar and pungent garlic creates a perfect balance that tantalizes your taste buds.

Moreover, Laba Garlic has numerous health benefits. Garlic is known for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a great addition to your diet. Eating Laba Garlic can help boost your immune system and improve digestion.

Additionally, this recipe is incredibly easy to make with just a handful of ingredients. You can also customize it according to your taste preferences by adjusting the soaking time and adding other spices or herbs.

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The Ingredients 

  • Garlic: This is a key ingredient in many recipes due to its strong and unique flavor. It adds a depth of taste that can’t be matched by many other ingredients. Garlic also has numerous health benefits, including its ability to boost the immune system and reduce blood pressure. In this recipe, garlic provides a savory counterpoint to the sweetness of the sugar and the acidity of the vinegar.
  • White Sugar: Sugar is often used to balance out the flavors in a dish. It can help to reduce the acidity of certain ingredients (like vinegar) and enhance the overall taste of the recipe. In addition, sugar can contribute to the texture of a dish, especially in sauces or marinades where it can create a glaze-like consistency. In this recipe, the sugar will complement the pungent flavor of the garlic and the sharpness of the vinegar, creating a well-rounded taste profile.
  • Vinegar: Vinegar is a versatile ingredient that can add a tangy flavor to dishes, helping to brighten and accentuate the other flavors. It can also act as a tenderizer for meats, making them more succulent and flavorful. From a health perspective, vinegar has been shown to have several benefits, including improved digestion and lower blood sugar levels. In the context of this recipe, the vinegar works in tandem with the garlic and sugar to create a balanced, flavorful mixture.
How to Make Laba Garlic Recipe

Step by Step Instructions 

Step 1: Prepare the Garlic

Begin by peeling 500 grams of garlic cloves. While this may initially seem like a daunting task, the effort will significantly enhance the final result of this recipe.

Step 2: Salt Treatment

In a large mixing bowl, combine the peeled garlic cloves with 4 tablespoons of salt. Thoroughly mix the garlic and salt, allowing it to sit for approximately 30 minutes. The salt serves to draw out moisture from the garlic, facilitating the pickling process.

Step 3: Rinse and Dry

After 30 minutes, rinse the salt off the garlic cloves meticulously. Pat them dry with a towel to remove excess moisture.

Step 4: Prepare the Pickling Mixture

In a separate bowl, blend 2 cups of white sugar and 1 cup of vinegar until the mixture is well combined. While you can use your preferred type of vinegar, traditional recipes often feature rice vinegar.

Step 5: Assemble and Submerge

Place the rinsed and dried garlic cloves into a clean jar. Pour the sugar-vinegar mixture over the garlic, ensuring that all garlic cloves are completely submerged in the liquid.

Step 6: Let It Mature

Cover the jar with a lid or plastic wrap, and allow it to sit at room temperature for 2-3 days. During this period, the flavors will meld and mature.

Step 7: Ready to Enjoy

After 2-3 days, your Laba Garlic will be ready to eat! You can store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. The pickled garlic will have a delightful balance of sweet and tangy flavors, making it a versatile and flavorful addition to your culinary creations.

Notes 

  • The longer you let the garlic soak in the vinegar, the more intense its flavor will become. You can adjust the soaking time according to your taste preferences.
  • Feel free to add other herbs or spices, such as chili flakes or bay leaves, to customize the flavor of your Laba Garlic.
  • Make sure to use clean and sterilized jars when storing the garlic to prevent any bacterial growth.
Laba Garlic Copycat Recipe

Nutrition Information

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How to store laba garlic?

Laba Garlic can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Make sure to use clean and sterilized jars when storing the garlic to prevent any bacterial growth. Plus, the longer it sits in the refrigerator, the more flavorful and delicious it becomes.

Variations 

There are many variations of Laba Garlic, each with its unique twist. Some recipes use a mixture of different types of vinegar or add other ingredients like soy sauce or chili flakes to create a more complex flavor profile. For example, rice vinegar is traditionally used in this recipe and will give the most authentic flavor.

You can also experiment with the soaking time to achieve your desired level of tanginess and intensity. Some people prefer to let the garlic soak for up to a week for a more potent flavor.

Laba Garlic Copycat Recipe

Laba Garlic Recipe

Today, we are going to explore an intriguing and flavor-packed recipe that will make your taste buds dance – the Laba Garlic.
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Author: Dr. Leah Alexander
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 22kcal

Ingredients

  • 10 garlic
  • 4 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of vinegar

Instructions

  • Peel 500 grams of garlic cloves, though it may initially seem like a daunting task, it’s worth the effort.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the peeled garlic cloves with 4 tablespoons of salt. Allow this mixture to rest for about 30 minutes, as the salt helps extract moisture from the garlic, making it easier to pickle.
  • After 30 minutes, thoroughly rinse the salt off the garlic cloves and pat them dry with a towel.
  • In a separate bowl, mix 2 cups of white sugar and 1 cup of vinegar until well combined. You can choose your preferred type of vinegar, but rice vinegar is commonly used in this recipe.
  • Place the rinsed and dried garlic cloves in a clean jar, then pour the sugar-vinegar mixture over them, ensuring that all the garlic cloves are submerged in the liquid.
  • Cover the jar with a lid or plastic wrap and allow it to sit at room temperature for 2-3 days.
  • After 2-3 days, your Laba Garlic will be ready to enjoy! You can store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

  • The longer you let the garlic soak in the vinegar, the more intense its flavor will become. You can adjust the soaking time according to your taste preferences.
  • Feel free to add other herbs or spices, such as chili flakes or bay leaves, to customize the flavor of your Laba Garlic.
  • Make sure to use clean and sterilized jars when storing the garlic to prevent any bacterial growth.
Keyword: Laba Garlic Recipe

FAQs

Q: Can I use pre-peeled garlic for this recipe?

A: Yes, you can use pre-peeled garlic if you want to save time. However, fresh garlic cloves are recommended for the best flavor. Also, make sure to adjust the amount of garlic used according to the weight measurement in the recipe.

Q: Is Laba Garlic spicy?

A: No, Laba Garlic is not inherently spicy. However, you can add chili flakes or other spices to make it spicy. If you don’t want spicy garlic, you can leave out these extra ingredients.

Q: How long can I keep Laba Garlic?

A: Laba Garlic can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Make sure to use clean and sterilized jars when storing the garlic to prevent any bacterial growth. Otherwise, it may spoil faster.

Wrapping Up

Laba Garlic is not just a delicious condiment, but also a symbol of tradition and celebration. Try making this recipe at home and experience the unique flavors and health benefits of this pickled garlic. From dumplings to noodles, or even as a topping for your avocado toast, Laba Garlic is sure to elevate any dish with its zesty tanginess. 

So why wait? Start pickling some garlic today and enjoy the taste of tradition in every bite! Also, please share your experience with Laba Garlic in the comments below. We would love to hear about your favorite ways to enjoy this flavorful condiment.

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Author Profile

Dr. Leah Alexander, M.D., is a board-certified Pediatrician in New Jersey and has been working at Elizabeth Pediatric Group of New Jersey since 2000.
She also has a passion for culinary arts that extends beyond the medical realm. After completing culinary school at the French Culinary Institute, she started Global Palate, LLC, a catering firm, in 2007. She ran her own six-year-old catering company and served small group parties as an owner and executive chef.

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