One of the very subtle (but very important) elements of ingredient that make ramen so delicious is the aromatic touch that puts into the broth. Aromatics could be spicy chili oil, chicken oil or pork back fat. The most distinctive aromatic that a lot of people at our ramen class asked for is black garlic.
To a lot of people’s misconceptions, black garlic in ramen is not fermented garlic. It is minced garlic that toasted (or burnt) under hot sesame oil. Black garlic can be considered as a condiment, i.e., it can be added into any types of ramen or even stirred fry dishes.
Here’s the authentic recipe for making black garlic that we learn from a ramen chef in Japan:
Ingredients (to make about 20 servings)
4 pieces of whole fresh garlic
300 mL sesame oil
1. Peel and smashed 4 whole garlic.
2. Finely chopped the garlic. Alternatively, you can use a garlic press.
3. Heat up one cup (300 mL) of sesame oil in a small pot or a wok.
4. Add all the garlic and lower the heat into low, simmering heat. Stir frequently with a spatula or spoon.
5. Cook the mixture for about 10 minutes until the garlic turns brown.
6. Pour about 90% of the garlic/sesame oil mixture into a sauce pan or prep bowl.
7. Bring the heat up for the remaining 10% of the garlic/sesame oil mixture for 3-4 minutes until the garlic turns black.
8. Combine the remaining mixture in the sauce pan or prep bowl.
9. Let it cool for 20-30 minutes.
10. Using a immersion blender, mix the garlic in the sesame oil.
Black garlic oil is made separately and we mix with ramen while assembling your bowl of ramen. To do so, you will put 30 mL (or 2.5 teaspoons) of black garlic in your bowl. After you add the tare and hot broth, use a whisk to mix everything together.
Finished black garlic oil can be placed in a glass jar and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 months.
Be sure to check out our other ramen recipes here.