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Ginger or garlic when to add both?


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Hi Andy,

Welcome!

I am from Wuhan so my method of cooking might be different from others who cook from different regions.

But the general rule is that for fish and meats, you want to use ginger to get rid of the "meat" or "gamey" taste and smell.

And garlic can be used in everything and anything. You can combine with ginger or just use it alone. I have even had whole cloves of garlic in soups before.

I hope this helps.

Xiao Ling

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One quick note. You often see ginger and garlic combined and added together. However, I have found that if frying in oil, the garlic, if cooked too long, or even burnt, becomes quite bitter.

I prefer to add them separately and cook the ginger first, adding the garlic just so it has time to become translucent, then adding the rest of the ingredients.

For many dishes, I roast whole garlic cloves in oil (well in advance) drain them and add them to the dish at the last minute before serving. I love garlic but can't stand it when it is burnt and bitter. The slow-roasting in oil produces a very sweet but still obviously garlic product.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Thanks so much for both your replies.

That is just what I needed to know. I too hate the burnt garlic taste.

It always says in recipes to get the wok & oil smoking hot but then my garlic always burns.

:laugh:

Edited by Andy Jackson (log)
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Thanks so much for both your replies.

That is just what I needed to know. I too hate the burnt garlic taste.

It always says in recipes to get the wok & oil smoking hot but then my garlic always burns.

:laugh:

I forgot where I first read it (?Barbara Tropp?), but when adding garlic to the hot wok, just cook it until it is aromatic -- and then quickly add the next ingredient or mix. The idea of cooking it for 30 seconds, is really too much. Just a whiff of its aroma is enough (a few seconds at the most)--- and quickly continue with the recipe. Chinese cooking really needs the senses, and the nose and ears make a difference, along with ones eyes.

But I LOVE charred garlic! Once when I was leading a large Chinese cooking class in a home-ec high school setting --- each group was at their own cooking station. I cautioned them about overcooking the garlic, and that if they did, they would have to clean out the wok and start again. And -- to bring up their charred garlic to me! HeeHee! Well, quite a few burned their garlic and I enjoyed their 'mistakes'. Yum!

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I tend to finely chop my garlic and grate my ginger of a microplane and add them together. A super hot woks murders the garlic in seconds, so I am always more cautious with my heat levels. When they are fragrent, they are ready. This is one of the reasons I despair of cooking when I have a cold. ;)

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Hi Andy,

Welcome!

I am from Wuhan so my method of cooking might be different from others who cook from different regions.

But the general rule is that for fish and meats, you want to use ginger to get rid of the "meat" or "gamey" taste and smell. 

And garlic can be used in everything and anything.  You can combine with ginger or just use it alone.  I have even had whole cloves of garlic in soups before.

I hope this helps. 

Xiao Ling

That is interesting, I can certainly see how ginger could tone down some of the stronger meat flavour you sometimes get.

My partner, who is also from Wuhan, uses ginger in many vegetarian dishes as well almost as a vegetable in itself (small stick of fried ginger).

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But I LOVE charred garlic! Once when I was leading a large Chinese cooking class in a home-ec  high school  setting --- each group was at their own cooking station. I cautioned them about overcooking the garlic, and that if they did, they would have to clean out the wok and start again. And -- to bring up their charred garlic to me! HeeHee!  Well, quite a few burned their garlic and I enjoyed their 'mistakes'. Yum!

I have a chinese cookbook that has a recipe for purposely browned garlic and spinach greens with a dressing. It's an acquired taste to say the least. :laugh:

I tend to finely chop my garlic and grate my ginger of a microplane and add them together. A super hot woks murders the garlic in seconds, so I am always more cautious with my heat levels. When they are fragrent, they are ready. This is one of the reasons I despair of cooking when I have a cold. ;)

A lot of recipes bypass the charred diced garlic by having you smash the garlic clove and leaving it as one large piece that can be easily removed once it's flavored the cooking oil.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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For many dishes, I roast whole garlic cloves in oil (well in advance) drain them and add them to the dish at the last minute before serving.

I was thinking of doing this in quantity - can they be frozen successfully? And should the garlic be drained, or packed in the oil?

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For many dishes, I roast whole garlic cloves in oil (well in advance) drain them and add them to the dish at the last minute before serving.

I was thinking of doing this in quantity - can they be frozen successfully? And should the garlic be drained, or packed in the oil?

I do it in big batches - 2 liter can of olive oil in a 4 quart Corning Dutch oven - and a large container of peeled garlic (from Costco or Sams club).

Cooked in the oven set at 275 F. for about two hours - sometimes longer.

It has to be stored in a sterilized glass container with a tight-fitting lid - I use one with the wire-bail type locking top.

You can store it in the fridge if you wish but I leave mine in my pantry.

I use extreme care when I remove the garlic and any oil I want to use. I dip a ladle into boiling water, allow the residual heat to dry it before dipping into the oil.

The garlic will keep nicely for months or until the oil is used up. (It usually takes me about three months to use it up.

You can prepare it in smaller batches - just use enough oil to cover the garlic with an inch or so liquid above the cloves. Use a deep enough container so it won't boil over and cook it until the garlic is a chestnut brown and when tasted is almost like candy.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Another reason to use ginger is to "balance" the dish. We use ginger with lots of vegetables because vegetables are "cold" and need ginger (hot) to balance the ying and yang. At least that's what grandma said.

I prefer to use garlic without the ginger myself when it comes to stir fry. I do wait for the wok to get hot and then add the garlic. I also always have the next ingredient right next to me so I can add it in right when the garlic is golden so it won't burn.

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