Many home chefs(or even restaurant chefs) don’t prepare these themselves anymore since ready-to-use fried garlic and fried onions are on the shelves at most grocery stores.
In Thai and Chinese cuisine, if you have a super fresh fried garlic or fried onion on top of your stir-fried food, soups, noodle soups, desserts, you will recognize the quality of your food by the smell, texture, and taste. Also, your cooking skill is undoubtedly moving to the next level of the preparation.
And, you must make these yourself to make “the super-freshness” right from the pot rather than buying a jar from a grocery because you don’t know how long it takes to get to you and how they were kept fresh.
I’ve practiced making perfect fried garlic and fried onions many times since I realized they are essential for Thai cooking. In 7 years of my cooking journey, I could understand that both Thai and Chinese food can’t live without them.
For what do we use them?
In most Thai restaurants, chefs usually prepare this in advance because it will take a while and patience, but the value of adding is tremendous in so many dishes such as:
- Stir-fried garlic dish(Pad Gratiam), stir-fried vegetable(Pad puk), Stir-fried wide rice noodle with soy sauce(Pad See Eiw)
- All kind of noodle soups such as Rad Na Talay
- All kind of dry noodle dishes
- Spicy garlic condiment, garlic in oil condiment.
- Rice soup and porridge
- And many more!
In Thai food, especially stir-fried or noodle soup, fried garlic is the key to the overall flavor, and I’m sure you won’t regret it.
I love fried onions, and I always do it myself because it can be a tasty snack. Unlike garlic, fried onions are sweet and crunchy.
Because of the sweetness, fried onion can be used in desserts, salads, soups for examples Kanom Mor Kaeng(Thai custard cake), Caesar salad, Vietnamese noodle soup(pho), Hat Yai fried chicken, and more.
How to correctly make fried garlic and fried onion
Let’s see our video clip to get a sense of how you will get them done:
Fried garlic: how-to and tips
- Ideally, you should use unpeeled garlic to crush and fry. The moisture will keep the garlic from burning too quickly.
- You can crush it by a knife, pound in a mortar, or use a food processor.
- To fry, use a tall full pan/pot if possible, and pour a decent amount of oil(depending on the size of your pot/pan
- Preheat the oil to 325F or try to drop a tiny bit to see if there’s a reaction.
- Spread the crushed garlic and stir.
- *important* don’t leave or lose a sight. Keep stirring in one circle direction. Lower the heat to medium. If you feel there’s some chunks forming, break them.
- When it’s almost finished, the bubble is less, and you can let it float the surface. This should turn darker yellow. Wait until it’s light brown and on the surface.
- Use a strainer to pick the fried garlic. It might not be crispy yet so don’t freak out. Spread out on a filter, don’t pile up until it cools down.
- *Note* The fried garlic should be at 90% perfect golden when you scoop out from hot grease, and it will be perfectly golden crispy while resting.
- Don’t throw away the grease. You can use this fragrance oil to cook stir-fry, add on noodle soup, porridge and much more.
Fried garlic is a standard preparation for Thai food and Chinese food, but it can be tricky if you are new to cook, and that’s because of the precise timing.
After the grease is chilled, you can remix the garlic and seal it in a jar. Or, keep the fried garlic and oil separate to use for any occasions.
Fried onions: how and tips
- Frying onions are more like frying garlic; using the same technique, temperature control and
- Using red onions or shallots works best on how the smell is delivered however some onions have less scent.
- To start, peel the shallots and slice cross-wise
- Preheat the oil to 325-350F promptly and dump the sliced onions into it.
- Keep stirring and lower the heat down to medium.
- Filter and rest on the strainer
Fried onions have a sweet taste to it, so you can make it as a snack by shaking them with salt and pepper, or you can sprinkle them on your salad to create a sweet-and-crunchy feeling
In my opinion, I found out that fried onions are harder to prepare perfectly. That’s because the thinness you slice needs to be consistent. Then, when you fry, they can be evenly cooked. So, the knife skill is required to prepare fried onions as well.
You can recognize when they’re ready by seeing they’re coming to surface. Onions usually use more time to float but need less stirring, unlike frying the garlic.
Preparing yourself fried garlic and onions is your choice because they’re sold everywhere now in the fresh market, but I still want you to cook it yourself.
And, please tell me how you like it better