Black Garlic Noodles – Umami blast

by on April 20, 2009

black-garlic-noodles-recipe

Black garlic has been on my list of ingredients to cook with and now thanks to my friend, Jaden of Steamy Kitchen who had a package of black garlic cloves sent to me via David of Earthly Delights,  black garlic is gently perfuming my kitchen with it’s mild pungence. I grew up with fiercely fermented, powerfully pungent foods, so the offer of finally trying a much anticipated aged black garlic was welcomed with open arms and drooled saliva on the kitchen floor.

Since childhood, the pungent strength of aged foods has always been a basic staple to my diet. I say “strength” because relative to all the fermented foods that I’ve had in my life, my mothers  creations were of the super hero strong type, the “wait till it’s green kryptonite” type, the “make you strong” type, the kind that will “knock the jeebers out of you if you were caught on the down wind of it” type.

To this day, I’m fiercely proud to be able to eat, enjoy and appreciate the umami revelations that aged and fermented foods bring to my taste buds. So when the package of black garlic came in the mail, I tore into the box, turned on my stinky food radar and grabbed a tissue paper to catch my eminent drool.

black-garlic-noodles-2

The result of my first impression of the garlic can be of good or bad news. It’s bad because for aged food freaks like me, the garlic was much more mild than I had expected. The good, actually great, news is that the black garlic will be very, very appealing to the majority of the normal population that don’t thrive off of uber-ripe foods.

I won’t get into the history and description of the black garlic because Jaden has a great write up about it HERE, as well as some great reader feedback about it’s “superfood” benefits. But what I will delve into is how impressed I was at the flavor of each individual morsel of aged, umami blasted black garlic clove.

If you love umami laden foods, this black garlic is for you. Soft, chewy, slightly sticky, savory and flavorful heads of black garlic can bring some new levels of umami flavor and garlic depth to your cooking. I wanted to take a twist off a popular Asian garlic noodle dish and use the black garlic in place of fresh garlic. Always a curious and hungry cat, I wanted to taste the black garlic in a starch preparation, to see how the garlic would hold up to a big plate of heavy noodles.

With caution, I tested just two cloves of the black garlic with about one cup of cooked noodles. One clove was smashed, then infused in a bit of oil and the other clove was sliced thin, then fried up in a pan with a bit of oil. I noticed that on both occasions, the flavor of the black garlic was just as flavorful as when I ate it straight from the clove. But then tasted the oil itself, after the black garlic was prepared in it, and was disappointed that the oil didn’t really pick up any of the aged, umami rich, black garlic flavors.

I’m assuming that during the aging process, most of the moisture and garlic oils are dried and concentrated into the clove itself, which leaves very little flavor to infuse into the oils.

So for my second attempt, I didn’t rely on the oil to flavor the noodles as much and added double the amount of black garlic slices to flavor the noodles. The results were much, much better because each bite of the noodles had a slice of the delicious black garlic for that special kick of flavor. I was very generous with speckling the noodles with black garlic slices.

The black garlic is delicious and flavorful on it’s own and should be savored, when possible, with each individual bite.

Jaden discusses the amazing bruschetta made by Chef Mark and Jennifer. I can certainly see and taste why this bruschetta dish was so fabulous. If each bruschetta had a slice of the black garlic  on top, and when eaten, the magic flavors of the black garlic would immediately be picked up by the palate. I’m craving that already, as I was with this great black garlic noodles dish. The sweet delights were music in my mouth as I slurped my noodle bowl dry.

-Diane

black-garlic-noodles

Black Garlic Noodle Recipe

Yield: Serves 2

Total Time: 10 Minutes

**For added moisture to noodles, you can add maybe about 1/4 cup stock, or even a tablespoon of hoisin sauce (diluted in water). We'll be experimenting with more variations on these black garlic noodles with a light cream sauce. Doesn't that sound tasty?

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound dry noodles or about 2 heaping cups of cooked noodles
  • about 8 cloves black garlic, sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce or soy sauce
  • handful of chopped cilantro or herbs
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Have cooked noodles ready in bowl.
  2. In heated pan, add grapeseed oil then add sliced black garlic. Allow black garlic to slowly sizzle in oil and slightly crisp up.
  3. Immediately add cooked noodles, gently toss in pan with the black garlic.
  4. Add sesame oil and fish sauce. Cook noodles for about another 2 minutes.
  5. Remove noodles from pan, add chopped cilantro and herbs. Add extra salt and pepper to taste.
Recipe Source: WhiteOnRiceCouple.com.

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 helen April 20, 2009 at 10:52 am

This I have not seen or heard of before. How interesting. I suppose it’s like many Asian health food – the uglier they are, the better they are for you.

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2 David Eger April 20, 2009 at 11:10 am

It’s always fascinating to see the imaginative ways creative food lovers use unusual ingredients. Congratulations, Diane and Todd, on a beautiful (and I’m sure absolutely delicious) dish!

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3 sra April 20, 2009 at 10:47 am

Hey how are you folks? This is so fascinating – I never knew there was such a thing as this. Is there a right way to age/ferment this? Every time a head of garlic starts to yellow and wrinkle, I throw it away.

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4 Becky April 20, 2009 at 12:00 pm

woah, i’ve never seen black, aged garlic before, and my mom’s cooked some crazy chinese dishes and herbal concoctions. your description makes it sound so delicious though.

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5 Phoo-D April 20, 2009 at 12:28 pm

This looks really interesting. (Beautiful photos!) I saw Jaden’s earlier post but still didn’t grasp the flavor profile. Your description and evaluation of how it acts with oil helps quite a bit. Thanks Diane!

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6 Katie April 20, 2009 at 12:36 pm

I saw black garlic on another site. I’m so curious to try this…do you know what the cost is and what size it is shipped as? Pound, oz. etc?

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7 White on Rice Couple April 20, 2009 at 1:25 pm

sra – There seems to be some mystery as to how to create black garlic. Both Korea and Japan reputedly have been making it forever (we’ve read it takes 40 days in a cave), but these current ones are being crafted using an exact amount of heat and humidity. We’d love to hear from someone who knows how to make it at home.

helen – “Ahhh. Make you strong!” But these actually are highly tasty too. Think roasted garlic only sweeter and more complex.

David – Thank you so much for the garlic. It’s flavor is incredible.

Becky – Hope you get the chance to enjoy some.

Phoo-D – Thanks. It is quite tasty.

Katie – At Earthy Delights they are currently selling it in 3 different weight increments. 4oz-$8.00, 8oz-$15.00, and 1lb-$28.00.

Glad to see the shared curiosity over this tasty ingredient. Hope everyone gets a chance to try some and we’d love to hear from those who may know more of it’s history and uses. Thanks for visiting and sharing everyone. Todd.

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8 Rebecca (Foodie With Family) April 20, 2009 at 1:49 pm

I am desperate to try this. Do you think I can find black garlic at my nearest Asian foods market??? Generally speaking (with the notable exception of durian which I just plain can’t develop an affinity for) the stinkier the food the better I like it. Plus, I am utterly devoted to garlic. I’m drooling now just thinking about it.

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9 Marc @ NoRecipes April 20, 2009 at 2:49 pm

Sounds fantastic! Love the simple prep. I saw Jaden tweeting about it a while back and have been curious to try it.

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10 julie April 20, 2009 at 3:11 pm

I wonder what your poor mailman was thinking when he delivered that package. :) This looks great and I bet the umami in this dish is crazy delicious. But what about dogs? Do they have the same affinity for umami? Did you have to lock Dante away?

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11 Hélène April 20, 2009 at 3:25 pm

This is a wonderful dish using an ingredient that I had never cook with before. That black garlic is so intriguing. Love the pictures.

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12 Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary April 20, 2009 at 2:30 pm

I have never in my life heard of black garlic! How interesting! I’m heading over to Earthy Delights now to check it out. Earthly Delight are some of my favorite things, lol.

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13 Cynthia April 20, 2009 at 3:33 pm

I can’t wait to get my hands on some of this black garlic. I have been hearing so many people extolling its delights.

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14 Howard April 20, 2009 at 3:35 pm

Nice work on the experimentation! The dish is simple but I bet it packs a punch in flavour.

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15 Asianmommy April 20, 2009 at 5:53 pm

Cool recipe & nice pictures!

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16 Manggy April 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm

And, it looks beautiful too. They kind of even look like truffles (which, as far as I’ve heard, are also kind of umami-ish?)!

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17 Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) April 20, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Must put black garlic on my list of new things to try. I love discovering new ingredients for my pantry!

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18 lk April 20, 2009 at 5:51 pm

A great discovery for me! But I dun think it is available in Singapore…..

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19 joey April 20, 2009 at 7:06 pm

This is really interesting…I haven’t see black garlic around here…sounds fantastic though! I too grew up on mega-pungent food so there is not much I wont try :)

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20 Jeff April 21, 2009 at 5:52 am

I am going to have to order some now because I love everything aged and everything garlic.

For a second here I was thinking this was another variety of garlic and was going to start ordering bulbs to plant. My overcrowded garden thanks you for not adding more to her.

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21 The Italian Dish April 21, 2009 at 6:44 am

Wow, this looks great. Earthy Delights is actually located where I live. They are a great company. I need to try some of that black garlic. Everybody’s talking about it.

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22 matt wright April 21, 2009 at 9:50 am

Yum, never had black garlic before – in fact, never seen it until Jaden’s post a little while ago. This looks fantastic – clean, simple, the garlic is the first and foremost the star of the dish. Just loving the photographs.

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23 Karen April 21, 2009 at 11:44 am

I never heard of black garlic! Off to research!

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24 Murasaki Shikibu April 21, 2009 at 1:25 pm

If they don’t release their flavors into the oil, then I guess one needs to use lots of it in slices or minced so that they’re all over the dish. I wonder if one could make something like a beef wellington with tons of black garlic mixed into the mushroom paste?

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25 Irene April 21, 2009 at 4:20 pm

Oooh I’ve never seen black garlic before! I love anything with garlic, I love its aroma and I love the way it hits the nose, and especially I love when garlic is sauted and crisp like that, added to pasta or pizza. Yum!

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26 Christelle April 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Humm, haven’t found black garlic where I am yet, I’ll keep my eyes peeled. Am definitely up for umami!

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27 Toni April 21, 2009 at 6:58 pm

Cannot believe that I’ve never even heard of black garlic before. I belong to the church of garlic – how is it possible I’ve missed this one??? Oh, you are making me drool….seriously drool. Yes, truffle-like. And I’d be hard pressed not to love anything made with something this beautiful!

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28 Sneh April 26, 2009 at 2:52 am

Absolutely gorgeous and exotic! I can almost smell the garlic :-) I love the earthiness and rustic spin to this recipe!

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29 White on Rice Couple April 26, 2009 at 3:02 pm

Rebecca- as far as I know, Earthly Delights has them available online. Check it out!

Lisa- Hope you get some and let me know how your dishes turn out!

Marc- thanks, sometimes the most simple things are the best.

Julie- Yes, Dante loved the smell, but he didn’t get any!

Helene- They give off a lovely flavor, hope you try it.

Cynthia- we’re glad to have finally tried it!

Howard- oh yes, these had a serious punch of flavor.

Manggy- I haven’t had truffles in a long time, so I’ll have to get some to make the comparison!

Lydia- this will right up your alley Lydia!

lk- it might be available in a gourmet market? maybe?

Asianmommy- thank you!!!!

joey- you’re like me, loving all the pungent food. I think you’ll like black garlic.

Jeff- let me know what you think of it when you get it!

The Italian Dish- wow, you’re so lucky to have them close by! Can you smell them? ;)

matt- hope you get some soon, maybe Jaden can get some sent to ya!

Karen- let me know what else you find!

Murasaki- wow, that sounds like a delicious dish!

Irene- ooooh, having it on pizza sounds great!

Christelle- hope you get your umami fix!

Toni- oh you’ll LOVE black garlic, Toni!

Sneh- thank you very much, I love the earthiness too.

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30 Claudia May 5, 2009 at 8:13 pm

I can relate to the fermentation thing. Sometimes I feel the need to explain the smells upon entry to our home, for guests. No, it’s not dirty socks, but fermenting cacao or wine or… Right now it’s both and sourdough bread proofing.

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31 christine June 2, 2011 at 1:34 am

Hi Claudia ,black garlic is naturally garlic , no addtives , very good for diabetic and hypertensive patients

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32 Dora July 26, 2009 at 8:19 pm

I have just bought some and only tried eating it raw. Simple recipe, healthy food!

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33 jeff January 6, 2010 at 12:06 am

Black garlic is sweet and its got this jello like texture…. and you would probably be expecting a real strong garlicky flavor but it would definitely surprise you because its sweet with a hint of garlic (naturally roasted garlic) but ya i use it to make tomato sauce for pastas…. its something worth trying for sure….. i got a few left so planning to make aioli out of it with cilantro etc.

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34 Bill January 24, 2010 at 9:30 pm

I found a recipe online for how to make or ferment garlic into black garlic:
http://www.ehow.com/how_5902625_make-black-garlic.html

I haven’t found anyone else that makes there own, but I am going to try it. I will post back when I have the finished product.

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35 christine June 2, 2011 at 1:32 am

Hi everyone
anybody need black garlic ,peeled black garlic , black garlic paste, black garlic capsule,black garlic softgels,black garlic powder, be free to contact me
christine
Email:mushanblackgarlic@gmail.com
http://www.aliexpress.com/store/604941

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36 owen November 29, 2011 at 10:22 pm

wow,, perfect, we have black garlic, http://www.black-garlic.net,

so we are waiting for more good food for use this, lol

anyway, I think black garlic is good for health,

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37 owen November 18, 2012 at 1:38 am

The second method: rice cooker steaming

Step 1: Prepare the garlic, cleaned it and put the rice cooker inside
Step 2: Start heating baking, until the water boils after transferred to the insulating state,15-20 days out,

Step 3: natural fermentation mature, can be placed on the air-dried at room temperature for a few days, the best paper bag, sweet and sour taste to taste

Step 4: you’re done, if you need to save, the best peeling, stored in the refrigerator Remarks: The second step to start may distribute the smell of garlic, the best on the balcony or outdoor, the garlic will gradually disappear after a week,

Comments: The second method of risk, the quality of the rice cooker is the key, if prolonged driving rice cooker, rice cooker can not afford oh, then there are home not to power drops, great risk, but also more expensive electricity If you really want at home, do it yourself, you can buy black garlic Division I professional production equipment, very cheap equipment, benefit for life,

this is an artic from http://www.black-garlic.net

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