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Korean garlic pickles, manuel-jangajji

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nut free
prep time: 
30 min
inactive time: 
0 min
cooking time: 
60 min
total time: 
90 min

Manuel janjajji, or pickled garlic, is a staple dish in Korea. Good quality garlic is a must to make this dish. Select young garlic cloves with tight skins and no green sprouts. You can pickle the entire head of garlic or peeled individual cloves. It takes six weeks to complete the pickling process, but the wait is worth it. The result is a garlic pickle without its pungent bite with a slightly sweet and tangy crunch. Serve manuel jangajji with rice or as an accompaniment to any main dish. Use the garlic infused soy brine as a dipping or seasoning sauce. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to a year.

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15 Garlic bulb 통마늘 (or garlic cloves)

for the brine

2 cups  Water 물 (distilled or filtered)
2 cups  Vinegar 식초
6 tbsCoarse Sea Salt 굵은 소금

for seasoning sauce

1 cup  Soy Sauce (regular) 왜간장
1 cup  Sugar 설탕

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Ingredient amounts in the recipe instructions are for the default serving size.
Click to enlarge photos.
Ingredient amounts in the recipe summary are for the default serving size.

1. Sterilize container (optional)

Boil enough water to completely fill your container. Add some coarse sea salt for extra sanitizing effect. Place a clean e-jen Fermentation and Storage Container in a clean sink. Place the inner vacuum plate in the container. Pour boiling salt water in the container and let it overflow. You can use a heat safe glass jar instead if you like.

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Boil water with salt.

Pour in container

2. Dry container

When the water is cooled to be safe to touch, pour the water out. Air-dry the container completely.

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Pour out water


3. Cut off root

Cut off the root of the whole garlic bulb. If you are using garlic gloves or pre-peeled garlic instead, skip to step 6.

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Cut off

  • roots

4. Peel

Peel only the outer layer leaving at least one or two layers on the bulb.

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  • only outer layer

5. Cut off stem

Cut off the stem with scissors leaving ⅜” of it. Do this step last. If you cut off the stem first, dirt can easily enter inside the stem while peeling.

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Cut off stem leaving ⅜”

6. Wash and dry

Wash the bulbs thoroughly under running water and drain water out in a strainer.

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Wash thoroughly

Drain water

7. Brine

Make brine solution by mixing 2 cups of vinegar, 2 cups of distilled water and 6 tablespoons of coarse sea salt in a bowl. Place the garlic bulbs in the E-jen Fermentation and Storage Container or a glass jar and pour the brine over them.

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  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 2 cups distilled water
  • 6 tbs salt

In container

  • garlic bulbs
  • brine

8. Seal

Open the valve in the middle of the inner vacuum plate by pulling the rubber plug. Slowly push down the plate to the point where the liquid is right to the level of the opening, but not coming through. Close the valve. Place the outer lid on. For a glass jar, simply close the lid.

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Insert inner plate

Close the valve

Close the outer lid

9. Ferment

Store the container in room temperature for 1 week.

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  • room temperature
  • 1 week

10. Filter brine

After a week, filter the brine through a strainer and save the filtered broth.

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Filter the brine

11. Make seasoning sauce

Mix the filtered brine with 1 cup of soy sauce and 1 cup of sugar. Bring it to boil until sugar is completely dissolved.

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  • the filtered brine
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup sugar

Bring it to boil

12. Pour sauce & mature

Put the garlic bulbs back into the container and pour the sauce over the garlic while hot. Let it cool. Seal it and let it mature at room temperature for 10 days.

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In container

  • garlic bulbs
  • pour sauce while hot

Let it cool

Seal & store

  • at room temperature
  • 10 days

13. Boil the sauce again & mature

Pour the sauce out of the jar and bring it to boil again. When it starts to boil vigorously, take it off the heat. Pour the sauce back into the jar and let it cool. Seal and store at room temperature for 1 month.

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Pour the sauce out


Pour back into a jar

Let it cool

Seal & store

  • at room temperature
  • 1 month

14. Store

Keep refrigerated. Boil the sauce once a month (as in step 13) for long term storage. This way you can enjoy your garlic pickle throughout the year.

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  • sauce
  • once per month

Enjoy for 1 year

15. Serve

Cut 2 to 3 garlic bulbs in half horizontally and place in a side dish plate. Pour 2 to 3 tablespoons of the sauce per them.

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Cut 2-3 bulbs

  • in half
  • horizontally

Serve with 2-3 tbs of sauce