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Day 125 – Kitchen Therapy – How to peel garlic — Scripting Happiness

Day 125 – Kitchen Therapy – How to peel garlic

I have very fond childhood memories of sitting around the table with my mom and the other women in the family to peel garlic. Korean dishes tend to be labor intensive and all those banchan (side dishes) require a lot of hands for chopping, peeling, washing, etc. Cooking together is how the women bonded.

There are few Korean dishes that doesn’t require garlic so growing up my mom and I spent a lot of time peeling it. I’d go so far as to say I’m an expert at it.

This week, we received a large bag of garlic from our CSA. It was way too much garlic for any two humans to consume so I decided to peel, dry and freeze it. Peeling garlic is a pain, especially when there’s a lot of it to peel. But I rather enjoy the experience of sitting, watching TV and keeping busy. It’s like knitting. Repeating the same movement over and over again. It also reminds me of being a kid and spending hours peeling garlic with women in the family and listening to their gossip.

A quick search on Google for “How to peel garlic” results in 8.5 million hits but when I have large quantities of garlic to peel, I still follow my mom’s method.

 How to Peel Garlic

Soaking Garlic


The first step is breaking up the garlic so that you are left with cloves. Toss away as much of the peel as possible. Then take all the cloves and soak them in warm water. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.








To peel, grab a sharp knife. One that’s small enough so you can keep it in one hand while holding the garlic in the other hand. Peel garlic on eat a time by first chopping off the bottom of each clove (the part that was attached to the bulbs). When running the knife through, catch the end of the peel then pull down. Once peeled, let it sit in colander to drain and dry completely.






My mom runs the garlic through food processor then wraps it in Saran Wrap to make garlic burrito rolls. You can also store the ground up garlic in Ziplock bag – like this. Then you just chops off however much is needed. I usually toss them in ziplock bag and freeze as is. Few minutes on the counter will defrost them and ready for cooking.




Here’s a cleaver way to peel garlic. I think it would only work if you had large garlic.

This is my favorite way to peel if I only need few cloves. Whacking it under the knife is very satisfying and fun.


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