Exploring Black Garlic

Black garlic undergoes a mesmerizing transformation through a process akin to culinary alchemy. Fresh white garlic bulbs are slowly cajoled under controlled heat and humidity for weeks or even months, engaging in an esoteric dance of the Maillard reaction. This intricate culinary ballet of amino acids and reducing sugars magically darkens the cloves, yielding a mellowed sharpness and embellishing an incredible depth characterized by a distinctly sweet-sour balance. The lush metamorphosis alters not only the aesthetics but also the texture, resulting in tender yet chewy cloves that melt deviously upon the palate, confounding novices and exciting seasoned gourmands alike.

Health Benefits of Black Garlic

Black garlic's extraordinary journey elevates its health benefits, making it much more than just a culinary ingredient. The controlled caramelization process reduces allicin content while significantly increasing antioxidants, which scavenge harmful free radicals in the body.1 Researchers celebrate black garlic for its ability to mitigate inflammation that potentially impairs cognitive function and worsens brain health over time.2 It also promotes heart health by modulating cholesterol levels, aids in stabilizing blood glucose, and helps mitigate liver damage caused by various toxins.3 However, individuals on blood-thinning medications or those with underlying health issues related to blood clotting should consult healthcare professionals before consuming black garlic.

Sourcing and Storing Black Garlic

High-quality black garlic can be found online, in health food stores, and specialty supermarkets. Look for uniform, firm cloves with a deep, even black color and a soft, chewy consistency. Avoid bulbs with hard spots or a grayish tone. Store black garlic in a cool, dry place until ready to open, then keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month to maintain its quality.

Cooking with Black Garlic

Black garlic's sweet yet tangy flavor profile inspires creativity in the kitchen with its versatile applications. Incorporate it into aiolis, hummus, vinaigrettes, meat marinades, pasta dishes, and pizza toppings for a burst of flavor. When replacing regular garlic with black garlic in recipes, use about half the quantity due to its intense and concentrated flavor. A sprinkle of minced black garlic can also elevate simple dishes like warm buttered pasta or omelets.

A plate of pasta with black garlic and herbs

Black Garlic Aioli


  • 3 cloves of black garlic, finely minced
  • 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation Instructions:

  1. Beat the egg yolks until smooth and slightly thickened.
  2. Add minced black garlic and whisk until combined.
  3. Gradually add olive oil, whisking continuously to ensure a stable emulsion.
  4. Stir in lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Serve this exquisite black garlic aioli as an elegant dip, spread, or condiment to elevate various dishes.

Nutritional Information (per serving):
Calories: 200 kcal
Total Fat: 22g
Saturated Fat: 3g
Cholesterol: 45mg
Sodium: 25mg
Carbohydrates: 1g
Protein: 1g

Black Garlic Marinade


  • 4 cloves of black garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Preparation Instructions:

  1. Combine minced black garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, rosemary, and thyme in a bowl.
  2. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  3. Pour the marinade over your choice of protein, coating evenly.
  4. Marinate chicken and beef for at least 4 hours or overnight; fish for no more than 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Cook the marinated protein according to your preferred method until done.

This black garlic marinade infuses rich, sweet, and tangy flavors into the protein, enhancing its natural taste and creating a distinctively delectable dish.

Nutritional Information (per serving, marinade only):
Calories: 140 kcal
Total Fat: 14g
Saturated Fat: 2g
Sodium: 5mg
Carbohydrates: 5g
Sugar: 4g
Protein: 0g

Grilled chicken marinated in black garlic sauce
  1. Kim MJ, Yoo YC, Kim HJ, et al. Aged black garlic exerts anti-inflammatory effects by decreasing no and proinflammatory cytokine production with less cytoxicity in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages and LPS-induced septicemia mice. J Med Food. 2014;17(10):1057-1063.
  2. Nillert N, Pannangrong W, Welbat JU, Chaijaroonkhanarak W, Sripanidkulchai K, Sripanidkulchai B. Neuroprotective effects of aged garlic extract on cognitive dysfunction and neuroinflammation induced by β-amyloid in rats. Nutrients. 2017;9(1):24.
  3. Kimura S, Tung YC, Pan MH, Su NW, Lai YJ, Cheng KC. Black garlic: A critical review of its production, bioactivity, and application. J Food Drug Anal. 2017;25(1):62-70.