Chinese Sweet Pickled Garlic Recipe (腌糖蒜)

Sweet Preserved Garlic (糖蒜) is a must-have topping for Shaanxi Crumbled Bread In Lamb Soup(Yangrou Paomo 西安羊肉泡馍). It has a sweet and savory taste. Helps to balance the heaviness of the thick lamb soup.

An interesting experience:

When I tested this recipe, I made 2 jars of pickled garlic. I put one jar in the fridge and leave the one at room temperature.

A week later, the garlic in the fridge, the color changed to green while the room temperature one is still the same color.

So I did a little research. Here is the science if you are interesting.

Green garlic is totally editable and it does not affect the taste. When garlic is combined with an acid (such as vinegar), the allicin reacts with amino acids in the garlic to produce rings of carbon-nitrogen called pyrroles. Pyrroles can link together and form polypyrroles, which throw colors. Four pyrroles clustered together create green (this is why chlorophyll is green). Three pyrroles linked together creates blue. It doesn’t affect the taste and It is totally editable. Don’t worry about it.

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5 from 1 vote



  • 30 grams 2 tbsp of salt + 1.5 liter (6.5 cups) of water to soak the garlic for 24 hours
  • 340 grams 12 oz of fresh garlic
  • 142 grams 5 0z of vinegar
  • 142 grams 5 oz of sugar
  • 22 grams 1.5 tbsp of coarse sea salt (if you use fine table salt, you only need 1 tbsp + 1 tsp)
  • 213 grams 7.5 oz of water


  • Remove the outer layers of the garlic until you can see the cloves.
  • Dissolve 2 tbsp of salt into 1.5 liters of water. Soak the garlic in the salt solution for 24 hours. This will help to remove the sharp pungent flavor of the garlic.
  • After soaking, drain the water. Rinse the garlic with clean water. Let it air dry overnight.
  • Next, we will make a pickle brine. In a saucepot, add the sugar, salt and water. Bring this to a boil to dissolve the salt and sugar.
  • Turn off the heat. Let it sit for at least 2 hours or until it cools down completely. Then add in 100grams of vinegar.
  • Boil a jar for a few minutes to kill the bacteria. Put it in a 180 F oven for 15 minutes to dry it thoroughly.
  • Take it out of the oven. Put the air-dried garlic into the jar along with the pickled brine that we made. Use a weight to press the garlic down, so they don’t float to the top.
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