When Can You NOT Replace Real Garlic With Garlic Powder?

The debate is really about convenience.

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Fresh ingredients, as any chef or cook will tell you, are the best ingredients. The fresher, the better! Freshness means you are using the best ingredients in your recipes and this will translate to cooking a better dish, too. It really makes a difference! 

This is also true for herbs and spices. Herbs when used fresh has a different flavor compared to herbs that have been dried. You also have to use much more of the fresh ingredient to add its flavors to the dish but it is infinitely more flavorful in that fresh state than dried. 

Garlic is a powerful flavor. It's got a pungent aroma and a sharpness in taste in its raw form that is unlike any other ingredient but when cooked, it mellows and sweetens into a wonderful flavor that can be addictive. Roasted until a golden brown and softened, it is even more sweet and flavorful. Fresh garlic is a fantastic ingredient to any dish which can explain why so many people love it! 

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However, there are instances when fresh ingredients aren't the best option to use in a recipe. Garlic is plentiful all year, and while there are times when you might be surprised that these are not available or just short of supply, it is an essential ingredient in our everyday cooking.

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There is another kind of garlic that isn't fresh but is just as useful in the kitchen: garlic powder or ground garlic. This is garlic that's been dried and ground to a powder. Its application is just as easy and as simple as any other spice. Sprinkle it into your chosen dish and you get instant garlic flavor without the knife work.  

The only reason we think that you should use garlic powder over fresh garlic is for recipes that need to stay dry. Since garlic is a fresh ingredient and can make your mixture wet, recipes that make use of dry seasoning ingredients are perfect to use for these recipes.  

Of course, you can always substitute fresh garlic with garlic powder in a pinch but we believe that when it comes to garlic flavor, you can't beat the real thing. When you want the powerful punch of garlic but want the convenience of not having to prepare it, turn to garlic powder. 

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For some recipes where fresh garlic isn't available, essential, or an ingredient in the recipe but you still want the flavor, go ahead and use garlic powder so you don't mess up the chemistry of the recipe altogether. Here are two ways we think garlic powder can be made to its best use: 

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1 Create a spice blend. 

If you're despairing of ever tasting the aromatic flavors of India because you don't know where you can get the spice mix or garam masala, why not make your own spice blend? This is where dried herbs and spices shine, including garlic powder!

You can even get the whole spices instead of trying to find the mix! Visit the spice section and if you can find the ground spice, great! If not, feel free to grab a bag of the whole spices. You can easily grind these up using a dry frying pan and a mortar and pestle aka almires or pandikdik. (Toasting the spices will make it easier to grind to a fine powder so don't skip that step!)  

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2 Use dry seasoning to keep the meat dry.  

Meat is commonly seasoned with both moist and dry ingredients but when you're making a dish that needs to be made crispy, you don't want to add moisture to what should be a dried exterior. Enter the dried spice powders to make sure that you get all the flavor you want in your fried chicken seasoned flour, smoked barbecue seasoning mix, or flavor sprinkle without sacrificing the crispness and crunchiness that you are trying to achieve.    

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Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on Yummy.ph by submitting your recipe here!


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