Thai garlic produces petite bulbs with six to eight cloves that grow around the central scape. The outer wrappers are tight and firm, with many beige layers that vary in stripes and purple and tan flushes.The inner wrappers are a dusty rose, and these encase the creamy ivory cloves. Thai garlic has a bold, pungent flavor with an aroma that is equally strong. The fiery flavor increases in intensity after the initial taste and will linger on the palate. When cooked, the heat will mellow to a medium spice.
Thai garlic is an excellent source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, and manganese. Thai garlic is also known for its high allicin content, which has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
Thai garlic can be used in both raw and cooked applications that showcase the bold heat and depth of the garlic. Its robust flavor is at its most pungent and hot when the garlic is smashed, minced, or pressed. When used raw, use sparingly so that it does not overpower the other food. Cooking will mellow the bite of Thai garlic slightly. Roasting or sautéing are the ideal cooking methods for this garlic. Sadao Nampla Wan is a favorite Thai dipping sauce using roasted Thai garlic chips and sada, or neen flower. Thai garlic also works well sautéed in stir-fries, chicken, and pork dishes. Consider pairing Thai garlic with bold and spicy flavors as well as rich ingredients that can work in harmony with its intense flavors. Chiles, ginger, citrus, cream, starches, soy sauce, toasted nuts, tomatoes, eggplant, grilled and roasted meats, and shellfish are all favorable pairings for Thai garlic. Thai garlic will keep for up to four months when stored in a cool and dry place.
Thai garlic is available in the summer.