Korean Pickled Garlic

Join me in adding a delightful twist to your next Korean meal with my very own Korean Pickled Garlic recipe! Crafted with just a handful of ingredients and taking only minutes to prepare, this flavorful side dish part of Korean ‘banchan’ adds a punch of tanginess to any meal! So, let’s pickle up some garlic and unlock a burst of Korean flavor in every bite!

Pickling brine poured into pickling jar.

Why I Love This Recipe

What gets me excited about my Korean Pickled Garlic recipe is its versatility and ease of preparation! Picture savory slices of garlic, pickled to perfection in a Korean-style brine that’s bursting with flavor! It’s my very own take on this traditional Korean dish where I blend the essence of my Japanese Soy Sauce Pickled Garlic with the zest of Korean Pickled Vegetables from the flavors found in Korean BBQ Dipping Sauce!

What sets it apart? My special technique of halving the garlic, allowing the brine to infuse its delicious flavor swiftly, ensuring every bite is packed with tangy goodness. Whether you’re diving into a Korean BBQ feast with my Korean BBQ Short Ribs Marinade or simply craving a flavorful side dish, this homemade delight ticks all the boxes!

Plus, knowing there are no additives or preservatives, just real ingredients crafted in my own kitchen like my Fried Garlic Chips, adds an extra layer of satisfaction. So why wait? Let’s pickle up some garlic and savor the taste of homemade goodness today!



  • Garlic– fresh peeled garlic.
  • White Vinegar – distilled white vinegar. The acidity acts as a natural preservative lowering the ph for the pickling brine and adds flavor.
  • Soy Sauce – low-sodium Soy Sauce preferred. Low in ph which acts like natural preservative for the pickling brine.
  • Sweetener –  use your preferred sweetener.
  • Water – filtered water.

Additional Vegetable Add Ins

Feel free to add some  Red Pepper Flakes or Jalapeno Slices into the brine if you prefer a spicy pickle.

🧄 Garlic Note

For faster preparation, use Pre-Peeled Garlic from the grocery store. This saves time and eliminates the need for peeling individual cloves.

Ingredients to make Korean style pickled garlic on the countertop.

Essential Kitchen Equipment


Step 1 In a stove-top pot, combine water, white vinegar, sweetener, and soy sauce. Bring it to a boil, then remove from heat. This step ensures the sweetener dissolves completely in the brine.

Pickling brine in a sauce pan.

Step 2 Peel the garlic if needed, slice garlic in halve and add into a sanitized pickling jar.

Sliced garlic in a pickling jar.

Step 3 Pour the brine over the garlic in the jar and pickle for at least 14 days in the refrigerator.

Garlic being pickled in a Korean style pickling brine.

🌡️ Brine Temperature Pro Tip

For the best crunch in your garlic, I recommend waiting until the brine cools to Room Temperature before pouring into the pickle jar. While some may add the brine white it is still hot, my testing has shown that cooling the brine results in crunchier garlic.

💡 Pickling Pro Tip

For optimal results, it’s advised to pickle the garlic for At Least 21 Days or longer. This duration allows the flavors to fully develop, resulting in a more vibrant and flavorful pickled garlic.

Recipe Variations

Craft my Korean Pickled Vegetable variation using my signature brine and incorporating crisp cucumber, onions, thinly sliced garlic, and sliced jalapenos!

Pairing Recommendations

Serve these pickled garlic other Korean-style banchan like my Korean Spinach Salad. For a complete meal, pair it with main dishes such as my Pan Seared Korean BBQ Brisket paired with my Korean BBQ Dipping Sauce, Kimchi Chicken Fried Rice or a simple and easy Beef Brisket Stir Fry!

Korean style pickled garlic served in a side dish.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if garlic turns blue, is it still safe to eat?

Yes! Garlic can turn blue during the picking process. It’s an enzyme reaction to the ingredients and it’s perfectly safe. The color should change back once the pickling process is completed.

Can I reuse the brine for future batches of pickled garlic?

While it's possible to reuse the brine for future batches of pickled garlic, I recommend making a fresh batch each time for optimal flavor and quality.

Can I use different types of vinegar for the brine?

For the best results, I recommend sticking with white vinegar for the brine. While you may consider using other types of vinegar, such as rice vinegar, it's important to note that they can alter the flavor of the brine and may not achieve the desired taste.

Do I need to sterilize the jars before pickling?

Yes, it's a good idea to sterilize the jars before pickling, especially if you want to be extra cautious. Simply rinse them under steaming hot water for 15-30 seconds before pouring in the brine to ensure they are clean and ready for use.

Storage Tips

To store leftovers, simply place them in a pickling jar with the lid closed and store it in the fridge. They will stay fresh for 4 months.

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Watch How To Make It

Korean style pickled garlic served in a side dish.

Korean Pickled Garlic

Discover the savory delight of Korean Pickled Garlic! Crafted with a homemade brine, this easy-to-make recipe offers a burst of flavor in every bite. Perfect as a side dish or accompaniment to your favorite Korean meals. Try it now!
5 from 4 votes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: Korean Pickled Garlic
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Pickling Time: 14 days
Total Time: 14 days 5 minutes
Servings: 10
Print Recipe
Calories: 33kcal


  • 2 Cups Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 3 tbsp White Vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup Sweetener your preferred sweetener


  • Gather all the ingredients.
    Ingredients to make Korean style pickled garlic on the countertop.
  • In a stovetop pot, add water, white vinegar, sweetener, soy sauce, and bring to boil on high heat. Once boiling, remove from heat and set aside to cool down.
    Pickling brine in a sauce pan.
  • Slice the garlic in half and place in a sanitized pickling jar.
    Sliced garlic in a pickling jar.
  • Pour the cooled down pickling marinade into the pickling jar, close the lid and place in refrigerator. Let it pickle to for 2 weeks.
    Garlic being pickled in a Korean style pickling brine.


Calories: 33kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 1298mg | Potassium: 97mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg
*Values Based Per Serving
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