I wish I had a scratch and sniff blog, because this mix of jalapenos and garlic in soy sauce has such a great smell, my mouth waters when I walk by them. Even writing about them has got me salivating. *scratch here* (this will work when I get my technology up and running)
I think every Korean family has their own version of these soy pickled jalapenos and garlic. Everyone has a secret technique, secret ingredient whether it be sugar, vinegar, MSG what have you. But my mother-in-law makes them really simply - and I love hers. The great thing about hers is that because there is no sugar or vinegar, you can "age" these in your fridge for a very long time with no worries that it will deteriorate. Acids from vinegar tend to break down the jalapenos and garlic too quickly so they can't do the duration in the fridge. I feel that sugar also does the same and for me doesn't really enhance the flavor experience.
This recipe will be strange, as it really doesn't have measurements. It will be up to individual people to figure out what jar they will use and make decisions as to how much garlic and jalapenos to use and to make it.
Soy Pickled Garlic and Jalapenos
1 good sized jar with a wide mouth which is big enough to hold your garlic and jalapenos. ((My favorite jar is this huge one that had marinated artichokes from costco, but you can decide what you'd like to use)
Bunch of jalapenos, sliced. Cut of the stem and just use the remaining portion of jalapenos, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
Bunch of whole cloves of garlic, tough woody top portion trimmed off
Soy sauce (I always use low sodium Kikoman, with the green lid)
1. Place all chopped jalapenos and garlic into the jar. Try and layer and mix up so the jalapenos and garlic are well distributed in your jar.
2. Pour soy sauce into the jar, NOT all the way covering the jalapenos and garlic. Do not cover about the last 1 1/2 inches of garlic and jalapeno. The reason is that the soy sauce will draw out water from the garlic and jalapeno and soon the soy sauce will eventually almost cover the jalapenos and soy sauce.
3. Allow the garlic and jalapenos to sit in the soy sauce for a good 4 hours. Eventually you will notice that the garlic and jalapenos are almost covered by the soy sauce.
4. CAREFULLY drain the soy sauce into a heavy saucepan. Leave the garlic and jalapenos in the jar.
5. Bring the soy sauce to a boil. As soon as it boils, pour the soy sauce BACK into the jar.
6. Let the jalapenos and garlic cool. Cover and place them in the fridge for at least one week. The flavor changes the longer you leave them. You can enjoy these for up to 6 months.
Jalapenos and garlic after 3 weeks in the fridge.