Don’t Let The Garlic Turn Green! Make Pickled Young Garlic

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If you want to prevent your pickled garlic from turning green or blue, here’s how to do it!

Here in India, sirke wala pyaaz is an easy-to-make pickled garlic recipe that uses only a few ingredients – red onions, chillis, vinegar, sugar, salt, and water. It’s popular in dhabas and eateries all over the country.

So when dad asked me to try pickling garlic cloves, I did, and then on my quest to find out why the lasoon sirka was turning green or blue, I discovered that laba garlic or jade garlic is a popular dish in China that sells for plenty of bucks!

But why does the garlic turn green?

As I’ve mentioned in my recipe for jade garlic, garlic contains amino acids. These amino acids contain sulfur, you know, the thing that gives garlic its pungency.

When you try to pickle it using vinegar, the amino acids in the sulfur react with the minute traces of copper in the vinegar to form copper sulfate, and this is what gives the garlic its blue or green color. Sometimes it even turns purple in color.

But not everyone like green or blue-colored garlic. So if you want to pickle garlic, but don’t like the natural green or blue color, you can still make it white.

If you stop the sulfur in the garlic from reacting with the copper in your vinegar, it’ll not turn green. The best way to do this is by blanching the garlic in hot water for about 30 seconds before using it. Don’t keep it for too long though or it’ll lose its zing.

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Another option is to use young garlic. They don’t have any sulfur content or very little if they do. So there’s no chance of them turning green. If you’re wondering how to stop pickled garlic from turning green or blue, here’s the answer!

How To Make Young Pickled Garlic That Doesn’t Turn Green

Well, it’s simple really as I mentioned in the paras above. Either you use very young garlic or you blanch the adult garlic in hot water before use. Then you pickle them and wait impatiently!

Garlic being pickled with sugar, water, salt, vinegar, in a glass bottle.
Add the garlic, sugar, salt, water and vinegar to a glass jar
Pickled young garlic in a bowl.

Pickled Young Garlic – Keep Pickled Garlic White

If you want to prevent your pickled garlic from turning green or blue, here's how to do it!
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 2 days
Total Time 2 days 10 minutes
Course Meal Prep, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Chinese, Fusion, Indian, International
Servings 16 Servings
Calories 9 kcal
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Pickled Young Garlic – Sirka With Young Garlic

  • 2 pods Garlic Chopped
  • 2 Green Chillies – Fresh Slit (Optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 teaspoon Salt
  • 120 ml Vinegar
  • 300 ml Water


  • Slice the garlic horizontal or vertical. Whatever you like the look of in yuor dishes.
  • Add the garlic to a glass jar with sugar, salt, vinegar, and water and leave aside for 1 or 2 days.
  • Remove and use the pickled garlic in salads or toast, or pasta or noodles.
  • You can store the pickled garlic for 6 months or longer.

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Stuff You Might Want to Use

All Natural Slate Cutting Board
King Arthur Baking - Country Bread Knife
700 ml or 1 litre Ceramic Barni For Pickles
Mason Jar

Nutrition (Per Serving)

Calories: 9kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 0.01g | Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 311mg | Potassium: 1mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 0.01IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 0.01mg

Disclaimer: Nutrition Information per serving is estimated by a third party software based on the ingredients used, and is for informational purposes only. It will vary from product to product, based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients. Please consult the package labels of the ingredients you use, or chat with your dietician for specific details.

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Pickled young garlic in a bowl.
Pickled garlic

Tips for Making A Pickle With Young Garlic

  • Make it in larger batches and store. It lasts for months. And doing it once is always easier.
  • You can use any vinegar you prefer to make pickled young garlic – red, brown, or white. We use apple cider vinegar because it’s healthier, but white vinegar gives it a cleaner look.
  • If you pickle the garlic for a few days, you can reuse the vinegar solution 3 to 4 times. Just maybe add a tenth of the vinegar and other ingredients in the recipe to it every time.
  • If you want garlic that looks different and green or blue like the popular Chinese jade garlic, try our recipe for lasoon garlic.
  • Add the pickled garlic to salads, rice, pasta, stir fry, or other cooked recipes.
  • It also tastes perfect with butter and cheese on toasted bread, you know, like all those popular garlic bread recipes you see everywhere.
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How long can I store pickled garlic?

Once you remove the pickled young garlic from the vinegar solution, you can store it in the refrigerator and finish it within a week. On the other hand, if you’re storing the pickled garlic in the vinegar solution itself, you can store it for 6 months or longer. We’ve kept some for a year.

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