Japanese Soy Sauce Pickled Garlic

This sugar free Japanese soy pickled garlic recipe, aka ninniku zuke, has a hint of sweet, sour, saltiness along with that crunch and pop of garlic!  For garlic lovers, it goes well with any dish to add that extra level of garlicky flavor!

Every single person in my family loves garlic, even my two year old!  Whenever we cook, we’re always searching out garlicky recipes and then adding more garlic than the recipe calls for.

Japanese Soy Sauce Pickled Garlic served on in a side dish bowl

My idea for making these soy garlic pickles came about because we often buy ready peeled garlic from our local Korean market, which sells them in big 2 pound bags, and of course, we always have more than we can use.

So to make use of any leftover garlic before they went bad, I decided to pickle them in a simple Soy Sauce, white vinegar, Monkfruit /sweetener mixture.

The result after a ten day marinade was garlicky bites of goodness that were packed with flavors of soy sauce, sweet and sourness that were extremely addicting!

My entire family loved them and they were gone so fast I knew I needed to share them with you all here on LCA!

What is ninniku zuke and what does it mean?

In Japanese, it translates to “garlic soy sauce pickles.”  Ninniku – garlic, Shoyu –  soy sauce, and zuke – pickled.  In Japan, it’s very common to have pickle accompaniments with your meals and there are endless varieties of ‘zuke’.

Bowl of garlic with monkfruit and soy sauce

What are the health of benefits of pickled garlic?

Pickling garlic is not only delicious but it also gives you the health benefits of consuming raw garlic without the extreme spiciness!  Garlic is known for being a very strong antioxidant and containing anti-inflammatory properties.

It can help boost the immune system, lower blood sugar, and contributes to a healthy heart by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.

How long does the pickling process take?

You can enjoy it in 4 days, but for best results, wait at least 10 days for the garlic to reach optimal flavor and mildness.  Under pickled garlic will still have that spicy bite to it.   You can also cut the garlic in half to quicken the pickling process.

Garlic being poured into Japanese soy sauce pickle liquid

How to store Japanese soy pickled garlic and for how long?

You can store them safely in the refrigerator for several months.  Just make sure to use a glass pickling jar and not a plastic container.

What goes well with Japanese soy pickled garlic?

Just about anything you can think of.  We use this as a side for steak, chicken, fish, to BBQ veggies.

Japanese Soy Sauce Pickled Garlic served with perfect BBQ chicken on green leaf lettuce

What can you do with the marinade?

Don’t waste the marinate!  You can use the marinade as a seasoning or dipping sauce.  I personally recommend dipping steak or chicken in the sauce.

So if you’re a garlic lover and looking for a great pickle recipe to go with your meals, I highly recommend making Japanese soy pickled garlic.  It’ll take your daily meal experience to the next level!

For this one, all you need is Monkfruit and Soy Sauce, which can be picked up on Amazon or a local Supermarket.

Now, if you’re ready, let’s get pickling some Japanese Soy Sauce Garlic Pickles!

  • Prepping Time 5M
  • Pickling Time 96H (4 Days)
  • Total Time 96H5M
  • Net Carb/Serv ~3g
  • Servings 10-12

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Peeled Garlic Cloves
  • 3/4 Cup Monkfruit or Sweetener of Choice
  • 1 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Distilled White Vinegar

Directions

1) Gather all the ingredients.

2) In a stove top pot, add Monkfruit, Soy Sauce and distilled white vinegar.  Bring to boil on high heat then remove from heat and let it cool down.

3) Once liquid is cooled, transfer sauce to a glass pickling jar.

4) Combine peeled garlic cloves and transfer to fridge.  Let it pickle for at least 96 hours (4 days) before enjoying but we recommend waiting for 7-10 days for best flavors.  Pickles should hold in the fridge for at least 8-12 weeks, if not longer.   Note – you can also cut the garlic in halves to quicken the pickling process.

Hope you enjoy your low-carb Keto Japanese Soy Pickled Garlic!

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More Recipes

Japanese Soy Sauce Pickled Garlic being picked up by wooden chopsticks

 

Japanese Soy Sauce Pickled Garlic served with perfect BBQ chicken

Japanese Soy Sauce Pickled Garlic

This sugar free Japanese soy pickled garlic recipe, aka ninniku zuke, has a hint of sweet, sour, saltiness along with that crunch and pop of garlic! For garlic lovers, it goes well with any dish to add that extra level of garlicky flavor!
4.13 from 8 votes
Course: Appetizer, Pickles, Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian, Japanese
Keyword: Japanese pickled garlic, Keto pickles, Ninniku shoyu zuke
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Pickling Time: 4 days
Total Time: 4 days 5 minutes
Servings: 10
Print Recipe
Calories: 37kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Peeled Garlic Cloves
  • 3/4 Cup Monkfruit or Sweetener of Choice
  • 1 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Distilled White Vinegar

Instructions

  • Gather all the ingredients.
  • In a stove top pot, add Monkfruit, Soy Sauce and distilled white vinegar. Bring to boil on high heat then remove from heat and let it cool down.
  • Once liquid is cooled, transfer sauce to a glass pickling jar.
  • Combine peeled garlic cloves and transfer to fridge. Let it pickle for at least 96 hours (4 days) before enjoying but we recommend waiting for 7-10 days for best flavors. Pickles should hold in the fridge for at least 8-12 weeks, if not longer. Note - you can also cut the garlic cloves in halves to quicken the pickling process.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 37kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1299mg | Potassium: 104mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg
*Values Based Per Serving
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12 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this. Very timely for me.
    I recently went into fermentation basically for some health issues of a loved one. . AND I am greatly enjoying it. Can I use organic honey in place of any other sweetener.

    • LowCarbingAsian

      Hello Tyna! I’m not 100% sure as we never made it that way, but I would guess you can use honey as the sweetener.

      Glad you’re enjoying your new way of eating and hope the health of your loved ones improve.

  2. My jar is in the refrigerator. I have a few questions. Do I remove the garlic from the jar or leave it in? Can I add more garlic cloves as I use the ripe ones? Is it best to dump the brine and make a fresh batch?

    • LowCarbingAsian

      Hi Mike! Once the garlic is pickled (we recommend waiting 10-14 days with the best being after 20 days), you can just leave it in the jar. After the full flavors are absorbed, the garlic won’t absorb anymore flavors so you can’t ‘over pickle’.

      I wouldn’t add fresh garlic to the already pickle ones otherwise you won’t know which ones are ready or not. You technically can reuse the pickle brine, but the flavors might start getting lighter the more you reuse the brine. We personally always make new pickle brine when pickling though. Hope that helps!

  3. Hi there! I was very excited to try this recipe as I am a huge garlic lover, pickle lover and fan of Japanese flavours 🙂 however, I have had my jar in the fridge for about a month now and the garlic is still hard and bitter, like eating raw garlic… I had to spit out the one I tried 🙁 I also noticed that there are frozen sugar crystals at the bottom of the jar. I have tried shaking it a few times but they’re still there and won’t melt. Why isn’t it working?

    • LowCarbingAsian

      Hi Eli! Sorry to hear that! If you don’t mind me asking, what kind of sweetener & soy sauce did you use for the pickling? 1 month should be plenty of time for the pickling so not sure why the brine isn’t being absorbed by the garlic. Our have some crystallized monkfruit on the on the bottom as well but it didn’t affect our pickling.

  4. My girlfriend and I tried this out. After a little over 3 weeks pickling, we gave it a try. It tasted very much like black licorice. We can’t seem to find anything online about it but a couple posts on Reddit. I’m assuming we haven’t fermented it long enough? Any experience with this? Thanks!

    • LowCarbingAsian

      Hi Tum! Never had experience with it tasting like black licorice before! 3 weeks should be plenty of time for the pickling. If you don’t mind me asking, what kind of soy sauce did you use for the pickling? I have tasted some brands of soy sauce that taste much stronger and bitter, which could be the reason you are getting flavors of black licorice.

  5. Hi again 🙂 I used monkfruit per the recipe – it was my first time even hearing about monkfruit, so I found some at the supermarket called Raw Earth Monkfruit sweetener and I used my usual Kikkoman soy sauce. I was very surprised and sad that it wasn’t absorbing because I had some leftover brine and it tastes great – I’ve been using it as dipping sauce for meat 🙂 was so excited about the garlic so it’s very disappointing…

    • LowCarbingAsian

      Hey Eli – that’s really odd. Just need to check, but you pickled individual peeled cloves correct? If yes and it’s still not absorbing, I would recommend cutting the cloves into half to help the brine get absorbed. If that still doesn’t work, your garlic must be some kind of super garlic that I’ve yet to come across 🙂 Let us know how it goes!

      • Hi, yes they were individual peeled cloves – I used pre-packed vacuum-sealed garlic from the store, maybe that’s why? I will try cutting them in half and see if that works. Thank you!

        • LowCarbingAsian

          We use the same kind of prepacked peeled garlic so honestly not sure why it’s not getting absorbed. But cutting them in half should def help. LMK how it turns out!

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