Minced garlic is an essential ingredient in many recipes. Mincing garlic is simple; it takes only a few minutes and is well worth the time and effort. There is something about the aroma and flavor of freshly minced garlic that the store-bought version in a jar simply can’t match!
Why Mince Garlic?
Think of chopping garlic as activating it for cooking. Allicin is the compound that gives garlic its aroma and chopping the garlic clove allows this aroma to escape.
When a clove is smashed or chopped, this is essentially damaging the clove. When a clove is damaged, an enzyme called alliinase converts an amino acid found in fresh garlic, allin, into the allicin that we smell. The more you damage – or chop – the clove, the more intense the aroma and taste of the garlic. This means minced garlic an ideal addition for a flavorful meal.
How Much Minced Garlic Does One Clove of Garlic Make?
If you’ve peeled a head of garlic you know that the size of cloves within the head can vary greatly. Cloves on the exterior can be as big as your thumb while those closer to the center are as small as your pinky.
The size of the clove determines how much minced garlic each clove will make. One small garlic clove equals a 1/2 teaspoon while a large clove can make as much as 1 1/2 teaspoons of minced garlic.
How to Mince Garlic
- 1 head of garlic
Separate the cloves:
Peel away the papery skin of the head of garlic and separate it into cloves.
Smash the clove:
Place a clove on its side on a flat surface. Use the broad side of your knife with the sharp side pointed away from you and lay it flat over the clove. Press down firmly on the flat side of the knife in a quick motion to smash the garlic clove, breaking open the skin. (See more here about this garlic technique.)
Peel the clove:
Remove the outer skin from the clove.
Trim the clove:
Trim the dark end, hard end of the clove.
Slice the clove:
Thinly slice the garlic clove.
Mince the clove:
Keep the front portion of the knife in contact with the cutting board and place your hand on the top of the blade to steady it. Fan the back portion of the knife back and forth over the garlic until it is finely chopped.