Why do many people turn green when soaking garlic? Chef reveals easy way to make crispy pickled garlic with white chili vinegar, no flaking

When soaking garlic in chili vinegar, many people find that within just a couple of days, the garlic turns a shade of green that is quite unappetizing.


Marinated chili garlic is a dish that adds extra flavor to meals and is loved by many families. A little bit of marinated chili garlic will make pho, crab soup, and vermicelli soup taste even better. However, marinated chili garlic can turn green, which makes it unappetizing for those who eat it.

Why does garlic turn green?

After peeling and slicing, garlic will react with the air. If the garlic is young and has a lot of resin, it will oxidize and turn green when exposed to air. This green color can be transferred to the marinade, making it less appealing. According to experts, green garlic is not toxic, but it is aesthetically unpleasing. Therefore, when marinating chili garlic, everyone wants to fix this issue.

Tips for marinating chili garlic without turning it green, keeping the garlic white and crispy, and the marinade clear

Prepare the ingredients

Choose 200g of garlic. Remember to choose firm cloves, small cloves will be more fragrant, and large cloves will be less fragrant. Purple-skinned garlic is more fragrant than white-skinned garlic. Single bulbs of garlic are tastier than those with multiple cloves, but they are also more expensive.

1 bottle of vinegar, 500ml. You should choose good vinegar and avoid industrial vinegar with a dark and unpleasant smell.

Fresh chili peppers, you can use Thai chili peppers or bell peppers. Thai chili peppers are spicy, while bell peppers and horn peppers have a milder flavor.



Glass jar or ceramic jar. Avoid using plastic containers for marinating chili garlic as they may react with the vinegar and produce harmful substances.

Preparation method to prevent garlic from turning green

You can put the garlic in the microwave for 10 seconds to make it easier to peel. After peeling, slice the garlic into medium-sized pieces. Rinse the garlic thoroughly and soak it in a diluted saltwater solution. Soak the garlic for about 30 minutes, then change the water and soak it again. This soaking process will prevent the garlic from turning green when marinated with chili peppers. Soaking it twice will also reduce the strong odor of garlic.

If you want to disinfect the garlic, blanch it in boiling water and let it drain.

Rinse the chili peppers and remove the seeds. The amount of peppers depends on your family’s preference for spiciness. You can choose to include peppers or not, depending on your family’s taste.

Add vinegar and water to a pot and add a little sugar. Cook the mixture until boiling and the sugar is dissolved. Once it boils, the dark color of the vinegar will dissipate. Add more sugar to make the vinegar taste milder and more enjoyable. You can also choose to marinate directly with 100% vinegar without water and add sugar, but make sure to use good quality vinegar without industrial additives.

How to marinate chili garlic:

Wash and dry a glass jar. If it’s well sanitized, you can boil it in boiling water, then let it cool. After draining the garlic, put it in the glass jar along with the chili peppers. Then pour the cooled vinegar into the jar. Close the lid and store it in a cool place. It can be used after 2-3 days. Avoid exposing the jar to heat or sunlight, as it will cause the garlic to sour quickly and lose its crispness.

Garlic is a natural antibiotic that helps prevent disease. Eating garlic regularly stimulates digestion and reduces inflammation. Garlic and chili vinegar can be added to fish sauce for dipping, as well as to pho, soup, and vermicelli dishes, making them even more delicious.

When using, remember to use a clean spoon to scoop out the garlic and chili peppers. Avoid using chopsticks or spoons that have come into contact with food. This can cause the marinade to become cloudy.

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