The Easiest Way to Chop Garlic With a Simple Knife

Chopping the garlic is not difficult, but if all you have is a knife, this method from Cook’s Illustrated is simple and produces a wonderful smooth paste without excessive chunks of garlic in the mixture.

You already know that how you grind the garlic makes a huge difference in flavor , so we’ll put aside the Garlic Press and the ever-efficient Microplane rasp and stick with one simple blade. You will need some salt too. After you peel the garlic, chop it into smaller pieces and then wiggle it with both hands to cut these pieces into very small pieces. You can usually stop there, but take a pinch of salt and sprinkle it over the garlic cloves.

This is where the magic happens. Cook’s Illustrated notes that coarse grains of salt (preferably kosher salt) help the garlic break down faster and prevent the garlic from sticking to the knife. Now continue to chop, but alternate with a scratching motion, placing the plane of the knife against the cutting board. Press and run your knife over the garlic to form a smooth paste. Then swing the knife over the pasta to break the pieces and repeat.

After a few passes, you will have a smooth garlic paste to cook with. It takes a little practice, but once you get the hang of it, you can grind large amounts of garlic this way faster than using a press or grater. Click the link below to see more photos of the process.

How To Chop Garlic | Illustrated chef


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