TikTok Users Are Eating Cloves of Pickled Garlic by the Jar: Here’s How to Make It for Yourself

A recipe developer weighs in dos and don’ts before trying this trend.

April 28, 2021
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Yeaa... I will finish this glass in the next 5 minutes... UPDATE: oops saw this in my drafts I meant to post it last night haha

♬ original sound - Lala

From shower onions to “Nature’s Cereal,” TikTok has blessed us with some seriously bizarre recipes and food-related trends, but the latest fad swirling around the social media platform might just take the cake.

Earlier this month, TikTok user @lalaleluu, who goes by Lala, shared a video of herself eating pickled garlic straight from a jar, several whole cloves at a time. The clip soon went viral and now has more than one million views and hundreds of comments.

In the clip, Lala explains that she “loves” eating ordinary pickled garlic, but decided to literally spice things up by adding some Sriracha, chili flakes and thyme to the snack, after draining the vinegar from the jar.

“It’s delicious. It’s so good,” she declared as she spooned several cloves of garlic into her mouth. “Try it out and tell me if you like it.”

While spicy pickled garlic certainly sounds like a bold, potent snack, the combination of pickled garlic and spices isn’t quite as intense as you might think. “At first glance, it's a little startling to watch Lala, the TikTok user eating whole cloves of garlic with a spoon! But like other pickled veggies, pickled garlic has a mild-garlic flavor and is packed with acidity and sweetness,” says Food Network recipe developer Amanda Neal. “The garlic also softens in texture when pickled and no longer has that raw-crunch.”

As Lala demonstrates in her video, this recipe is easy to throw together. “To make this recipe at home, you'll need a jar of pickled garlic cloves, Sriracha, gochugaru and dried thyme,” Neal adds. “If you don't have gochugaru, you can also use crushed red pepper flakes.”

Additionally, Neal advises against purchasing pre-seasoned pickled garlic for this recipe, because, as Lala noted, those varieties tend to have excess oil. “As suggested in the video, avoid buying pickled garlic that has other seasonings or is jarred in an oil-based liquid; this may conflict with the spicy sauce you're creating,” Neal explains. “Also be sure to buy the pickled cloves, not whole heads. That way, there are no garlic skins and the marinade will sit directly on the garlic cloves themselves.”

And if you're looking for tips on how to create an even more flavorful version of this dish, Neal suggests letting the garlic cloves marinate for a bit before you dig in. “It's also beneficial to let the garlic marinate in the refrigerator overnight before enjoying,” she says. “This will allow garlic to soak in the marinade, and have the flavors meld together more.”

While you can certainly enjoy this snack solo, like Lala, Neal notes you can also use it to spice up your next gathering. “You can eat them straight out of the jar, but these would also be enjoyable on a charcuterie board with sliced spicy meets and sharp cheeses,” she explains. “You can also chop these garlic cloves up and mix into salsas, guacamole and more.”

Will you be whipping up some spicy pickled garlic soon?

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