If you eat salad for the croutons and tomato soup for the grilled cheese, you should be making garlic chips… to put on everything. These thin-sliced pieces of heaven crisp up in minutes and add a nutty, garlicky crunch factor to rice, stews, salads, and really anything at all.
Making them is incredibly easy, if you have a mandoline. (And if you don’t—get one. We like the Benriner Japanese mandoline.) It’ll slice the cloves more evenly and thinly than your chef’s knife—just watch your fingers! Keep in mind too that this is not the time to use your favorite olive oil. We use a neutral oil like vegetable or grapeseed because, 1) you want the favor of the garlic to shine through, and 2) you want the garlic chips to be versatile—olive oil may be great for topping aglio e olio, but it doesn’t complement soy sauce and sesame oil as well.
Photo by Alex Lau
Mandoline + garlic = perfect chips, every time.
Crispy garlic chips happen pretty fast, so keep your eye on the prize. You start the garlic in cold oil so it comes to temperature evenly, and you’ll know the chips are done when the oil stops bubbling around the edges and they turn slightly golden. Be conservative here and pull them out as soon as they hits a light golden-brown. It will take time to fish out each sliver with a slotted spoon, so work fast and in batches. Nothing tastes sadder than bitter burnt garlic.
Photo by Alex Lau
Check out the crispy, crunchy garlic chips on this garlicky fried rice.
Once you drain them on a paper towel, they are a nice little sweet, slightly nutty, and garlicky topper. They are best still warm and scattered atop the aforementioned fried rice, ricotta toast, seared steak or short ribs, weeknight pantry pasta, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. They can be kept in an airtight container for a few days, so grab a few extra garlic heads and make a double batch. And while you’re at it, maybe consider investing in an extra tin or two of mints?
Want more garlic? Try this chicken: