Spooned over the serving bowl or individual bowls of steaming hot, clear soup, this simple but powerful condiment adds notes of toasted nutty goodness to simple noodle soups, ‘dry’ noodle dishes like bamee haeng, or stir-fried dishes. I love to spoon it directly onto my rice, for its crunch and chewy goodness, as well as its direct rustic but delicate flavor. Two ingredients here: hot oil, heated in a wok or skillet or small saucepan just until a bit of garlic sizzles at once; and coarsely chopped garlic, which goes in all at once and turns golden slowly but steadily as long as the oil isn’t too hot. Be ready to pour it out into a bowl, as once it starts to brown, it goes quickly and will keep cooking in the heat from the pan. Chopping it too finely, so that it’s mushy and wet, means burnt garlic. If that happens, mai pen rai ! No worries, just do it one more time and you’ll have what you need.
Crispy Garlic in Oil could go on the table in little sauce bowls, as a condiment to enjoy with rice and accompanying dishes. The toasty flavor adds a lovely note to simple dishes; texture, too. Enjoy this with kao tome, Thai style rice soup, which is plainly flavored and loves an assist from this smart, inexpensive from-scratch Thai flavor secret. Thai cooks make some up as they go along. If you want to have it on hand, make enough for a few days and keep in the fridge, in a sealed glass jar, near the front so you won’t forget it you have it and neglect to enjoy it. Not that I would ever do that…. Well, yes, I do. Out of sight, out of mind, which is why everything that can stay out on the kitchen counter, does just that. How about you?