How to Chop (and Slice and Smash) Garlic

February 18, 2011

Watch as A&M make quick work of one of the peskiest of kitchen tasks (and one we find ourselves doing over and over and over).

This week's video was shot and edited by our buddy Drew Lavyne, the founder/director of Six Minute Stories and the producer of the super helpful Teach Me Sushi iPhone app -- and the new Teach Me Sushi Expert app (glimpses of both below).

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Teach Me Sushi iPhone App      Teach Me Sushi Expert iPhone App


See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Blissful Baker
    Blissful Baker
  • megbennington
  • Peanut
  • megcooks
  • hennef7
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Blissful B. February 26, 2011
I had already mastered smashing, mincing & pasting, but how did I miss that trick to get the skin off easily? My new favorite kitchen technique!
Amanda H. March 1, 2011
Glad you like that little trick!
megbennington February 24, 2011
I love these 'how-to' videos -- helps novices like me learn better cooking skills! Thanks for that - and please keep them coming. :)
Amanda H. March 1, 2011
Thanks for the feedback!
Peanut February 22, 2011
What is it about adding salt to the chopped/crushed garlic that helps it turn into a paste? Something to do with drawing the liquid out?
Amanda H. March 1, 2011
The salt may help draw out the juices in the garlic but I find that the salt mostly just adds a coarse element that helps break down the garlic clove.
megcooks February 20, 2011
Yes, I could hear the sharpness of the knife in that second demo. Now I know what my problem is!! (Though I did like the smashing technique a lot too). Great lesson. Thanks.
hennef7 February 20, 2011
I agree! Beautiful knife! And I would enjoy a knife sharpening tutorial as well...
BonPierce February 20, 2011
I use the garlic twist. It keeps all the juices, in minces it fine and it cleans up under running water. I remove the paper the same way and I'll slice it in half to pick out any green, then pop as many cloves as I want into the twist. It's nice to have it all contained and then use it for as many dishes call for it.

tspke February 20, 2011
why on earth are you using the blade of your knife to scrape up the garlic? every time you do that you are dulling the knife
Amanda H. February 20, 2011
True but it's the most efficient way to pick up garlic, which clings to the cutting surface.
MRubenzahl February 20, 2011
I agree -- I cringe when I see someone do that.

Amanda -- if you flip the knife and use the back edge, it works well without sacrificing the blade edge. Do this a few times and it will become an effortless habit.
Amanda H. February 20, 2011
Great -- thank you for the suggestion and explanation!
kennyg February 20, 2011
I love your rings .
Amanda H. February 20, 2011
zingyginger February 20, 2011
I'm used to doing it same way as Merrill (esp where I don't want the garlic crushed) but I can see a very therapeutic side benefit with Amanda's method. :) There's also great tool for crushing garlic - a Rösle garlic press (there are other brands but this one works the best).
Kinda pricey but it's well designed so that you only need to place a clove inside, no need to peel and it's easy to clean too. It's great for when you need a lot of chopped garlic.
MRubenzahl February 20, 2011
I like the Kuhn-Rikon garlic press, which is similar to the Rosle. They are both beautiful and effective.

But most of the time, I do it with the knife.
Queen O. February 20, 2011
I'm so reassured to see that there isn't some magical set of knife skills (I have not yet attained) for chopping garlic. You just have to do it. Department of dull kitchen tasks indeed!
edamame2003 February 19, 2011
the meat tenderizer--i like. pounding stuff--always satisfying. those are korin knives, aren't they?
Amanda H. February 19, 2011
The knife was a gift from my brother-in-law, who bought it in Tokyo. Not sure what the brand is.
thirschfeld February 19, 2011
Now is the time to slice that citrus on the same spot and taste it. LOL. Love it and love these videos. Knife sharpening would be a good video to do.
Amanda H. February 19, 2011
Good idea, especially since I have the dullest knives on the planet.
LisaCooks February 20, 2011
I was just thinking the same thing about a knife sharpening video...
obleak1 February 18, 2011
Is that a Shun knife? Also, curious if you know the little trick to remove the garlic smell from your hands. Run anything that's stainless steel under the faucet and rub your hands on it.
Amanda H. February 19, 2011
Thank you for the garlic smell trick. That knife was a gift, bought in Tokyo!
Merrill S. February 20, 2011
I always use that trick, and I find it really helps.
mrslarkin February 18, 2011
whoa, cool knife! It's gorgeous. What is it?
Amanda H. February 19, 2011
See above!