Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Black Garlic Sesame Dressing Over Seared Tuna
John, from the co-op across the sidewalk from me on the Farmer's Market, came over to my booth last Saturday and told me that a family member from China served the most luscious dish made with black garlic. Of course, since I have been hearing a lot about it lately, I was anxious to know more. John told me exactly the way it is made in China these days. You won't believe it but it is steamed in a rice cooker for, get this, 9 DAYS! I had my doubts about trying it because I was afraid the rice cooker would quit after a day or so, given that appliances these days have very short life spans. But, I was curious so decided to give it a whirl. I placed as many large garlic bulbs into the cooker as it would allow. I did not peel them but plopped them in whole, as I was instructed to do. Today, the 9 days are up and it is time to open the rice cooker. (it is supposed to stay on warm cycle but mine kept reverting to cook and then back to warm the entire time.
Rice Cooker Filled With Garlic Heads
I was a bit nervous about opening the lid and then slicing the garlic. Would it really be black and would I like the taste? I figured I would since it seems to be all the rage on the food channels and you-tube.
There They Are All Ready to Peel Open
Sure enough, after opening the pot I find that it is dark brown, lighter than I've seen pictures of but still very good. I know I want to add it to a sauce. I am wondering if I need to ferment longer as some sites have claimed that it takes a month. I don't think I could wait that long. Also, the entire house has a curious odor while it is fermenting..John says he puts his in the garage for the 9 days.
Not Jet Black But Dark Brown
Something else that is important for me to mention. Black Garlic has been touted as a powerful anti- cancer preventative. If you want to read more about that added incentive to make your own black garlic, just google 'black garlic and cancer' Different sites claim that it is a powerful antioxident and can heal psoriasis, Increase energy level, fight cancer, can be used as an anti-aging product, and help with sleep.
I am experimenting with many recipes but the one I like the best so far is made by smashing a whole head of the black garlic and adding it to a sesame dressing-then pouring over seared tuna or salmon served cold or warm. I used raddiccio lettuce as a base. It is delicious! I used the dressing I sell at the Farmer's Market here in Roanoke and at the Roanoke market and Greenbriar Farm Market. You can probably use any sesame dressing though. I'm not sure If I will be selling the black garlic because I will have to experiment with storage and longivity first. But, it is simple enough to make yourself and you might just want to drag out the rice cooker in the back of your pantry or purchase a new one. They are very inexpensive. I used a small 12 cup rice cooker but if you get serious about it, you can find the larger ones as well. Have fun!
PS: I heard that the Trader Joe's food store (my favorite) is carrying them but I was not able to find it at the ones in D.C.