Garlic seems to be at the base of every delicious food out there, along with a good olive oil and some onions. And one fo the best ways to release garlic’s full flavor is to use minced garlic.
But what if you don’t have any garlic ? Or would simply like to avoid having your hands smelling of garlic all day long.
Well, fortunately there’s a few substitutes you can try and we’re here to tell you all about them.
Best minced garlic substitute
Garlic powder, garlic flakes, and garlic salt are the three most commonly used substitutes for minced garlic.
These products are available on the market and you can keep a ready pack of any of them in your pantry. As you can make out, these are substitutes for garlic, but won’t be just as good as fresh garlic.
Most of the time, when people choose minced garlic, they choose it because of the strong and unique flavor and texture it brings to dishes. Garlic powder and garlic salt may be used as substitutes of garlic but they cannot produce the whole effect that fresh garlic can lend to the dishes.
To really emulate the flavor you may also need a bit of fresh onion, or at least some vegetal oil to bring out the flavor in garlic.
Minced garlic is a common ingredient in different kinds of meat and curry dishes in all kinds of culinary traditions all over the world.
Besides, it is also used in pasta, pizza, noodles, soups, and baked items. While garlic powder can be used in place of fresh minced garlic, fresh garlic in any other form such as chopped, smashed, flakes, jarred, etc., is always a better substitute for minced garlic than garlic powder or garlic salt.
It’s because, when we think of minced garlic, we actually think of fresh garlic in terms of flavor and texture.
How much garlic powder do you need?
Seeing as garlic powder is pretty much the most common substitute, we’ll start with this one. Please note that you can make your own garlic powder by crushing and grinding garlic flakes, if that’s all you have.
With garlic, you know what a single clove can do to your dish. That gives you an idea what effect an entire bulb of garlic can bring to what you eat. But in some culinary traditions, using a handful of garlic bulbs is not very uncommon.
That brings us the question how much garlic power you need for, say, one tablespoon of minced garlic.
Well, the answer is available all over the Internet and surprisingly, there is no much variation in how much they recommend.
They all recommend 1/8 tablespoon of minced garlic for every clove of garlic. This means, you can use one tablespoon of garlic powder if you intended to use 8 cloves, which is not too many!
Garlic powder is also available in granulated form. However, there does not seem to be any major difference between ordinary garlic powder and granulated garlic powder.
Keep in mind that garlic powder should be added towards the end of the cooking process. Since it doesn’t have that beautiful garlic juice, dried garlic (be it powder or flakes) will lose its flavor if you cook it for too long.
How much garlic flakes and salt ?
Similarly, you should use 1/8 spoonful of garlic flakes for every clove of garlic you had planned to use in your dish. If you are going to use jarred minced garlic, you should use 1/4 spoon of jarred minced garlic for 1 clove of garlic.
If you are using garlic salt, 1/4 spoon is enough for each clove of garlic you have planned for your dish. But in this case, you should use less salt in your food because garlic salt also works as salt in your food.
Well, this is too simplistic solution and measurement. It’s true that garlic powder is stronger and more powerful, its potency may not be the same or consistent across different brands.
So, you should do some really good research and try out a few brands. In this case, the more expensive ones may be the best preserved, and thus the most flavorful.
What is garlic powder?
Garlic powder is dehydrated garlic ground into a powdery texture. It’s a concentrated form of garlic having an intense flavor. Let’s not think that garlic powder and garlic salt is the same thing.
Garlic powder doesn’t have salt in it. There are certain occasions when garlic powder can be more suitable than fresh garlic.
For example, garlic powder is considered a better option than fresh garlic in soups, sauces, rubs, marinades, etc,. You may also like garlic powder instead of fresh minced garlic in pan-fried meats, hamburgers, baked chicken, and grilled steaks.
Both garlic powder and garlic salt are quite overpowering substitutes for garlic. So, they should be used in moderation.
Keep in mind that garlic salt is just salt mixed with granulated garlic. So it will also salt your food, so be sure to use less salt when cooking, if garlic salt is all you have.
Alternative substitutes to minced garlic
Minced garlic can have even non-garlic substitutes such as shallots. Shallots are mild and are kind of a cross between onions ad garlic, in terms of flavor.
You can use minced shallot in place of minced garlic, one teaspoon for one clove of garlic. You can use even more because it’s not much more pungent, especially not like garlic.
If you were planning to use minced garlic by frying in oil but now you are using a minced garlic substitute, you should use minced jarred garlic.
Other garlic substitutes will easily burn in the hot oil. However, you can use garlic powder, garlic salt, and garlic flavor with other base materials such as onions, celery, and carrots.
Another way garlic substitutes can be used is by adding them in cool oil and heating them together but making sure that you take it off the flame the moment it gets too heated and starts burning.
Keep your pantry stocked with garlic substitutes
An important reason why you need to look for a substitute for garlic is that you cannot do without it, be it minced or whole. Whether it is pasta or meat dish, you need garlic to add flavor or enhance the taste.
Garlic has been in use for over 5000 years. And, it has some amazing powers such as it can lower blood pressure, and can kill microbes in your body.
Garlic has a long shelf life and it is possible for anyone to suddenly discover that their stock of this amazing condiment is over. Then begins a frantic search for even a single piece of clove that may be lying somewhere.
For such eventuality, it is a good idea to keep a pack of garlic powder and garlic salt handy so you are never completely out of garlic. It is also possible to prepare your own garlic powder.
But if you don’t find any garlic anywhere, you can reach out to other substitutes such as shallot or onion.
The most popular minced garlic substitute is garlic powder, followed by jarred minced garlic, garlic flakes, and garlic salt. But nothing can compare the taste, texture, and flavor of fresh garlic.
So it is always recommended to keep some fresh garlic on the countertop and also in the refrigerator. So that it is both in front of you and also in the store.