Gratiem Dong กระเทียมดอง
Many years ago, one of the gifts you would bring back from Chiang Mai for your friends and family was pickled garlic. Good pickled garlic is made with ripe (not young) garlic. The garlic is first soaked in water and then pickled in a vinegar, sugar and salt brine. The pickled garlic should have a soft crunch with well balanced flavors of sweet and salty.
There are 2 types of pickled garlic that are commercially available, whole head pickled garlic (in picture) and large individual cloves, more like shallots in appearance. The whole head pickled garlic looks good, but it requires more effort to eat because you have to slice/cut/separate the garlic from the stem and hard base. Pickled garlic is a great ingredient in many dishes like stir fries, salads and mee grob. Bland rice soup tastes great with pickled garlic and pickled garlic omelette. The brine from pickled garlic is also a secret ingredient in many great sauces and dishes.
I attempted to make my own pickled garlic, but ended up with a patch of garlic in my garden instead. I was supposed to soak the garlic for one night but I had too many things to do. So, I kept postponing making pickled garlic and letting the garlic soak in water. On the second night, I noticed that the garlic started to sprout roots and shoots. A couple of days later, I put them in the ground. Now, the green leaves are shooting out. I'll have more garlic at the beginning of summer.