Thai crispy fried garlic

Well, pretty much most Thai recipes call for garlic ... most start by saying, 'fry the garlic until it smells good ...'

And this yummy crispy fried garlic is used as a topping, added often to noodle soups or perhaps some fried rice, or onto steamed vegetables, but honestly, it's good on so many things! 

Add to eggs, to pizza, to pasta ... anything that could do with a bit of nutty, crunchy, garlicky goodness.

A jar will last several days, maybe a week (I'll double check this with my own and come back and be less vague) at room temperature - if you put it in the fridge, the oil's going to solidify.

It's so easy too - to make a jar you'll need just a cup of cooking oil (something without a flavour of it's own so don't use olive oil, use rapeseed, grapeseed or sunflower) and a bulb of garlic.

I like to use this big flat knife as it makes it so easy to cut the ends off the garlic bulb and then flatten the cloves, which releases the skins, and then just chop into small pieces.

Rachel Redlaw Thai crispy fried garlic
Rachel Redlaw Thai fried crispy garlic
Rachel Redlaw Thai fried crispy garlic

If you have Thai garlic (my local Thai supermarket sells it) you'll notice the cloves are much smaller than our usual garlic and the papery skins much lighter - so you could just throw the skins in too as they'll crisp up and look lovely and are fine to eat (and easy to pick out if you don't want to).

Anyway, back to our crispy fried garlic.

Put the pan on over a low heat and add the oil. Unlike when we usually stir fry and heat the oil first, for this recipe put the garlic straight in.

If you heat the oil first the garlic is going to burn.

Keep stirring the garlic in the oil over a low heat and after about a minute you'll see the oil begin to sizzle.

Keep stirring!

Don't leave this unattended because well, A ... boiling oil can be dangerous and B ... the garlic will still burn easily.

You need to catch it the moment it turns a nutty brown - probably after about four minutes or four and a half minutes - so just keep an eye on it.

Rachel Redlaw Thai fried crispy garlic
Rachel Redlaw Thai fried crispy garlic
Rachel Redlaw Thai fried crispy garlic

Immediately remove from heat as it'll continue cooking in the hot oil even as it cools.

And when cooled a little pour into a jar (you may need to pour into a jug first), seal and then it's ready to keep and use.

Having made some this morning, I'm adding crispy fried garlic to add some pizzazz to my simple chicken and noodle lunch.


Rachel Redlaw Thai fried crispy garlic
Rachel Redlaw Thai fried crispy garlic
Rachel Redlaw Thai fried crispy garlic


Lamb (leftovers) stir fry

I love a good roast dinner.  Lamb is probably my favourite - and my step-mum makes possibly the best roast lamb ever ... it's testimony only to the size of the lamb that there were leftovers at all!

We had the roast lamb last Sunday with mint sauce - of course - and roast potatoes and vegetables and an incredibly good gravy.

And on the Monday evening I made a simple stir fry with the leftovers (even simpler for me as my dad had done the work slicing all the meat into small-ish strips). 

I really like using fresh mint leaves in this - it's a sort of nod to the mint sauce of the day before.

We had enough lamb to serve four as a stir fry with rice.

Here's what you need:

1 garlic clove, minced

1 red chilli, finely chopped

1 stalk of lemongrass, outer tough parts removed and finely chopped

1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and minced

Some chopped vegetables-  we had peppers and mushrooms

2-3 spring onions, sliced

cooked lamb, cut into strips or diced

fish sauce

light soy sauce

zest and juice of a lime

a handful of coriander leaves, chopped

a handful of mint leaves, chopped

rice, to serve

Heat a pan, add a little oil and when hot, tip in the garlic, chilli, lemongrass and ginger and stir over quite a high heat, moving the ingredients around in the pan constantly to prevent burning.

After about 30 seconds, when it starts to smell good, add the chopped vegetables and a little splash of water, enough to loosen it and make it easy to turn in the pan.

After a minute or so, add the cooked lamb, a couple of sloshes of soy sauce, one of fish sauce and the lime zest and juice, and continue cooking until the lamb is hot right through. 

Do taste and taste and taste as you add the sauces and lime - add half in first, stir and taste, before adding the remainder of each so you can check you're happy with how it tastes. If you think it's a bit too sour, just add a pinch of sugar.

When it's all ready, throw in the fresh herbs, immediately remove from heat and stir in to wilt.

And that's it! 

Serve with rice .... this is such an easy delicious dinner - I do hope you try it!

Rachel Redlaw lamb stir fry