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Thai Pickled Garlic
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See note on alum water: mix the two below to get Alum Water 4 cups seenote on above. Method: Make alum water by mixing 1/2 Tbsp alum crystal/powder in 4 cups water. Soak garlic in water for 2 to 3 hours. Peel, and put the peeled garlic in the alum water. Let soak for 1 to 2 hours. Drain, and wash with water, drain, and let stand to drain off all water. Mix vinegar, salt, and some water (to taste - P.G.). Stir until the salt have all dissolved. Put the solution in a suitable container (glass or stainless steel - P.G.) with garlic so that the garlic is covered. Leave for 3 days. At the end of 3 days, drain the garlic, and discard the vinegar solution. Mix sugar with 3 cups of water, and heat until all the sugar have dissolved. Continue to heat until the syrup have thickened. Add vinegar and salt, to taste. Let cool. Put the garlic in a glass jar, and covered with the syrup prepared in step 3. Cover the jar tightly, and leave for about 10 days to 2 weeks. Special note: You will see the recipe calling for "alum water". You will need to make this. Alum is a chemical that you will find quite readily in a good Asian store. What you will look for are large (may be as large as your fist!) white crystals. If it's in a plastic bag, it should be marked appropriately. I have seem them sold loose as well. The purpose of the alum is to help the garlic retains their "crispness", even after the pickling process. Note also that this recipe is given the "Thai way", which means that the quantities are extremely approximate. YOU, the chef, are expected to know what you want as the result! Now, THAT's authentic!
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