Manul Changachi (Korean pickled garlic) is crunchy, salty, a little bit spicy and a little bit addictive. It's not the flashiest banchan (side dish), but it's almost universally loved among Koreans. You can also slice the cloves into thin discs and use them as a way to flavor rice and noodle dishes.
I like garlic in almost any form, but if you are new to popping whole cloves of garlic in your mouth, then it's best to start with the youngest (smallest) garlic cloves for pickling.
Keep in mind that all garlic is not equal. There actually are numerous different varieties of garlic, ranging from the plain white "softneck" garlic most commonly seen at your local grocery store to more exotic types, such as pink-purple Creole garlic and charcoal-colored black garlic.
There's also elephant garlic, with gigantic cloves, and ramps, which resemble spring onions (to be fair, both elephant garlic and ramps actually are closer relatives to onions than to garlic, even though they tend to taste like garlic).
For this Korean pickled garlic recipe, though, your best bet is to use either so-called "hardneck" garlic (the type of white garlic that carries a hard stalk above the globe of cloves) or softneck garlic (the type you're likely most familiar with). These varieties of garlic will meld nicely with the sugar, rice wine vinegar and soy sauce you'll be using to pickle the cloves.
This recipe is not for those in a rush to enjoy their pickled garlic, so if you can't wait three weeks (ideally, even longer), you'll need to find this Korean specialty at a store (where the cloves are sold in small packages containing only about 10 each). But if you can handle the anticipation, you won't be disappointed with this easy Korean pickled garlic recipe.
- Garlic cloves (peeled and washed, however many you want to make)
- 1 part sugar
- 1 part rice wine vinegar
- 3 parts soy sauce
- Place garlic in a glass jar.
- Fill jar with water until water reaches covers about 2/3 of the garlic cloves.
- Pour out water and measure it. That's the amount of soy sauce you need.
- Use 3 parts soy sauce to 1 part vinegar and 1 part sugar. (So if you need 1 cup of soy sauce, then you need 1/3 cup of vinegar and 1/3 cup of sugar).
- Bring soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar mixture to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- When the sauce has cooled, pour over garlic in glass jar. Make sure garlic cloves are completely covered, using a small stone or bowl to weigh them down if necessary.
- Store at room temperature for at least 3 weeks.
- After opening, store in refrigerator.