How To Make Delicious Fermented Garlic

  • Published on February 14th, 2011 by


Fermentation is a great way to take ordinary foods and make them even more delectable, and nutritious. Common fermentation favorites include foods like sauerkraut, pickles, cheeses, sourdough bread, and many more. Almost every food has its fermented counterpart, and garlic is no exception.

Here’s a simple way to make delicious fermented garlic with nothing more than salt and water!

How to make lacto-fermented garlic

To make a simple lacto-fermented garlic, all you need is garlic, salt, and water, and an appropriate vessel. Try starting with a pint jar, or a quart jar if you have a whole mess of garlic.

  1. Peel the garlic cloves completely and set to the side. If you have a scale and can weigh the quantity, do so, if not, just go ahead and pack the cloves into a pint or quart jar.
  2. Cover the garlic completely with water. Make sure no garlic sits above the water level. Use clean, filtered water for best results.
  3. Add 2% of the total weight of garlic in salt. If you have no means to weigh the garlic or salt, make your best estimate. About 1.5 teaspoons of salt should be plenty for a pint or garlic, or 1 tablespoon for a quart. Stir it in.
  4. Cover the jar with a loose fitting lid and place the container somewhere at room temperature. Be sure to leave the lid loose, because pressure can sometimes build up in the jar!
  5. Check the garlic after a week. Take notice of how the smell is different. Check again in another week, and then again in a third week. Taste the garlic and notice the differences in flavor over time. The garlic can sit out nearly indefinitely, but the flavor will slowly intensify as long as it is sitting out in a warm place. Put the garlic in a fridge to slow the fermentation to a near halt.

How to enjoy your fermented garlic

Whole fermented garlic cloves can be put through a food processor and made into a delicious spead. Spread the garlic on toasted bread, pizza, or toss into pasta. Whole cloves can be minced and cooked the way you would use fresh garlic. Remember that the flavor of fermented garlic is very intense and a little goes a long way! Enjoy!

For more about the wild world of fermentation, check out

Note: If your fermented garlic is turning green, do not fear. It’s a natural chemical reaction that causes the green color.

Image credit: flickr via psmacleod

About the Author

I'm a 26-year-old currently living at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in northeast Missouri, an intentional community devoted to sustainable living and culture change. Things you might find me doing here (other than blogging) are building with natural materials, gardening, beekeeping, making cheese, candlemaking, and above all else, living simply. You can read about my on-going natural building projects at: