The Spicy Pickled Garlic TikTok Trend You Need To Try

Of the many types of garlic available, pickled garlic may seem like something you'd only see on an antipasto platter. But this convenient pantry item is an instant umami booster for your cooking, adding sour and allium aromas to sauces, marinades, and more. Well, TikTok is here to help take this flavor bomb to the next spicy level. 

In a recipe from TikToker @lalaleluu, three simple ingredients transform a jar of pickled garlic into a kimchi-like condiment, tangy and spicy in the best ways: classic Sriracha, chili flakes, and dried thyme. Lala, the inspiration for this recipe, likes to eat this garlic as a refreshing snack, but people quickly jumped on the many flavorful possibilities that such a jar of spicy pickled garlic could bring to their cooking. So, how should you go about bringing your own version of this viral phenomena to your home kitchen? 

Add sriracha, chili flakes, and dried thyme to crank up the heat

Begin with purchasing a jar of pickled garlic. Drain off the vinegar from the jar, reserving it to use in a garlic-forward vinaigrette or tangy marinade. Next, you'll add in some Sriracha (or a Sriracha alternative hot sauce) with the pickled cloves. How much you add is up to your desired heat level, so start with less and add more after the first tasting. 

Next, you'll add a tablespoon or two of gochugaru (Korean chili flakes), again adding as much of a kick you want. Finally, incorporate a couple of tablespoons of thyme to bring an herbaceous note to the mix. All that's left is a couple of vigorous shakes and you've got yourself a delicious shortcut to kimchi flavor.  

While the original creator mentioned they enjoyed it as snack, think of using this spicy pickled garlic as a way to add tangy heat to your salads, grain bowls, or pasta. It can also be a nice and refreshing counter-note to rich side starches, adding depth to mashed potatoes or creamy polenta. Basically, any dish that could use a bit of faux kimchi flavor will benefit from a bit of this spicy pickled garlic.