A Microwave Is The Only Tool Needed For Crispy, Fried Minced Garlic

Crunchy garnishes make everything better, from old-school croutons in a salad to bits of crisp fried garlic on ramen. You can buy fried garlic at the grocery, but making it in your kitchen is easy and faster than a trip to the store, and as a bonus, you'll have deeply flavored garlic oil to drizzle on crostinis or pasta, or to use in a vinaigrette. And if you hate messy stovetop frying, you're in luck; a microwave is the trick to getting perfectly golden fried garlic with less risk of scorching the bits and ending up with a bitter mess.

The microwave works so well for this project because its heating method causes water to heat up and eventually evaporate. The water content of the garlic bubbles out of the oil; meanwhile, the hot oil cooks the garlic, resulting in a browned and crispy pile of flavorful bits. The microwave also provides gentle heat you can start and stop with less risk of overheating the oil and burning the garlic.

Zapping crunchy garlic to perfection

The technique is as simple as placing chopped garlic in enough neutral oil to cover it in a microwave-safe container. You can chop the garlic by hand of course if you've just got a small amount, but a food processor makes quick work of chopping a larger quantity of garlic cloves. The method also works for sliced garlic, if that's your preference. Oils like canola and avocado are great for this project; they are flavorless and hold up well to high heat.

One essential step to make perfect microwave-fried garlic is to use short bursts of power, watching closely as the color changes and ending when the garlic is golden rather than fully brown. The amount of time needed will vary depending on your microwave and the amount you are frying, so start with two or three minutes, stir, and then heat for just one minute at a time until the garlic is perfectly cooked. Another key to success is to drain the oil off as soon as you've finished cooking the garlic, or you'll wind up with oily bits. Be careful with the bowl of oil — it gets very hot. Let the fried garlic cool on paper towels, then dig into the delicious, umami-rich flavor bomb. To store extras, refrigerate both the crispy garlic and the garlic oil, covered for up to a month.