20 Ways To Use Fermented Honey Garlic

How many times have you seen a recipe call for both honey and garlic? Probably more times than you can count. Consider making life easier for yourself by preparing a pre-made honey-garlic concoction that you can just drizzle, pour, or drop into your next recipe, thereby saving time and reducing stress. And while you're at it, you might as well add another element of flavor to your concoction by allowing that garlic to ferment, which will give your honey-garlic an added tang, and a more dynamic taste that will make the ideal complement to a variety of recipes.

Luckily, the preparation of this delightful condiment is simple and straightforward. It only requires raw honey, fresh garlic, and a bit of your time — the fermentation comes free of charge — and all you have to do is pour some honey over slightly bruised garlic cloves, let the combination sit in a jar for a few days, stir, then let it sit for another week, stirring again occasionally. Just be sure to use raw honey and not the regular stuff, as this is the only type of honey that has the enzymes necessary to produce fermentation. Once your fermented honey garlic is ready to go, you can use it in various culinary applications, the best of which we've listed below.

Stir fermented honey garlic into chicken lo mein

Chicken lo mein thrives on the combination of sweet, spicy, and sour flavors, most of which are already contained within your fermented honey garlic. By slightly whittling down your ingredient list, the next time you make a garlic chicken lo mein recipe, you'll have an even easier time of it.

But the best part is the flavor boost you get by using fermented honey garlic. The fermentation of the garlic causes the honey to take on an added umami flavor, which will pair nicely with the ginger and spice of the lo mein. Be sure to add the honey-garlic at the same time as the ingredient is called for in the recipe, along with the ginger. For an added flavor boost, you can also stir more fermented honey garlic in at the end of the cooking process. 

Use it to flavor a steak marinade

One of the top aims of a good steak marinade is to tenderize the meat soaking therein, and a fermented product — packed with active enzymes — is just the ticket. This is why fermented honey garlic is the ideal ingredient for marinating your next steak before you cook it. You can use it either as a single ingredient, or as an addition to more typical steak marinades.

Indeed, pairing it with soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice — all found in a tenderizing steak marinade recipe — might work especially well. Be sure to let the steak sit in those juices for up to eight hours for maximum effect. Add a hint of cayenne pepper to give the mixture a more complex flavor. 

Spice up a cucumber salad

A whole host of greens are in season during the summer, but it seems like the cucumber embodies the spirit of this time of year better than any other vegetable. This is even more true when you pair it with fermented honey garlic, which gives cucumbers a more intriguing taste thanks to the sweet and tangy flavors.

To see for yourself, consider using fermented honey garlic to make Thai smashed cucumber salad, which is typically made with regular garlic cloves and sugar, along with rice wine vinegar, chile oil, toasted sesame oil, ginger, cilantro, and lime. Just swap out the fresh garlic and sugar for the fermented honey garlic, and you'll be adding new dimensions to the dish without taking anything away.

Mix it into a vinaigrette

There are several ways to add fermented honey garlic to salads. You can simply drizzle it on top of your greens, slice up the garlic and toss it in, or you can mix it into your vinaigrette, which is what we suggest doing.

Minced garlic is often used in salad dressing to add a savory element and balance out tangy tastes, like lemon juice or vinegar. A similar idea is at play when adding fermented honey garlic instead. In this case, you can either mince the honeyed garlic pieces or finely slice them, and combine them in the same way that you should use minced garlic for dressings and vinaigrette. But leave out any brown sugar, maple syrup, or other sweet elements a recipe may call for — the honey will take care of that. 

Add fermented honey garlic to sweet and spicy shrimp

Any sweet and spicy recipes you like to use at home can benefit from the use of fermented honey garlic. For instance, a garlic shrimp in coconut milk recipe is already packed with sweet and savory flavors that are only enhanced by sweet honey and savory garlic.

The recipe already calls for a whopping five cloves of garlic, and you can either use some of the fresh stuff alongside the fermented honey garlic, or do a full swap. Meanwhile, the honey can sub in for the teaspoon of sugar suggested for stirring in. You can add the fermented honey garlic at the point in the recipe that calls for the garlic to be added with the ginger and onion. 

Amp up garlic bread

Homemade garlic bread is one of those perfect foods that you might hesitate to alter. Why fix it if it ain't broke? But no one is saying you have to toss your family recipe for good old-fashioned garlic bread out the window.

Rather, you can use fermented honey garlic to create a whole new type of garlic bread. Perhaps it's not the kind of food that you'd snack on before your lasagna comes, but it might just make the perfect snack or appetizer before a sweet and sour dish. In other words, consider simply spreading some fermented honey garlic on a bread of your choice. For best results, you can follow some of the same steps you'd take to make regular garlic bread, such as broiling the bread, but instead of pouring on garlic butter, you'll be using your new sweet concoction.

Top citrus-flavored salmon with fermented honey garlic

Making the glaze for a baked honey-citrus salmon recipe is a cinch if you already have fermented honey garlic on hand. Indeed, the recipe calls for honey and three garlic cloves, which you're supposed to stir together along with paprika, olive oil and seasonings. Instead, we suggest that you simply mix some paprika and oil into your existing honey-garlic concoction.

Alternatively, you can just brush some fermented honey garlic on your salmon before putting it in the oven and calling it a day. That's because salmon — with its relatively neutral flavor profile — can easily accommodate the sweet and savory elements in fermented honey garlic, and just a short cooking time in the oven will ensure that the fish absorbs these flavors through and through.

Dish it onto blackened cod

Salmon is not the only fish that can handle a good dose of fermented honey garlic. A blackened cod and citrus salad makes an ideal base. The crispy, caramelized crust of the cod makes the perfect foil for the sweet-and-savory garlic honey, resulting in a burst of flavor that seems to include every part of the taste spectrum.

The salad that accompanies this blackened cod also makes a nice pairing for fermented honey garlic. The citrus-infused dressing creates a bed of sweet and tangy goodness that blends seamlessly with the rich garlic-honey mixture. In fact, to really maximize your fermented honey garlic, you can add it both to the cod and to the salad dressing, which makes the meal harmonious.

Use it as a soup topping

Drizzling honey over certain soups is a time-honored tradition. This is especially true of warm, wintry vegetable soups, like a creamy vegan roasted acorn squash soup. But garlic can also go a long way as a soup topping, especially when it's been fermented in honey, allowing you to kill two birds with one stone.

However, in this case you don't want to just drizzle honey over the soup as you normally would. Any garlic chunks contained within it will just fall into the bowl and sink to the bottom. Rather, we recommend slicing up that garlic into thin strips, lightly frying those for a few seconds, and then adding them to your soup as a tasty, crunchy garnish. The interplay of textures, as well as flavors, is just what you need to turn a boring soup into an interesting starter. 

Bake it onto your Brie

Brie is an all-around crowd pleaser, especially when baked to gooey perfection, allowing it to achieve extra creaminess. But baked Brie is also extremely rich, and it's nice to have something sweet — and maybe even a bit tangy — to balance out the heft. This may be why you often see baked Brie topped with such sweet delights as cranberry sauce or fig jam.

While these aforementioned flavor combinations hit all the right spots, another topping that can pull off a similar trick is fermented honey garlic, which provides a combination of sweet, sour, and rich while blending in with the texture of the cheese. Prepare this embellished baked Brie as you normally would, by spreading the honey garlic on top of the wheel before putting it in the oven. 

Make glazed chicken with fermented honey garlic

Recipes for honey-glazed chicken abound, and for good reason — the warm sweetness of the honey exalts the otherwise fairly bland and mild flavor of the chicken. But honey-glazed chicken dishes can be further improved by swapping out regular honey and any fresh garlic in the recipe with fermented honey garlic.

This swap is particularly simple in a honey-glazed chicken thighs recipe. All you have to do is create a marinade for the chicken, and instead of adding honey and crushed garlic cloves to the soy sauce, ginger, oil, and seasoning, you can just scoop in some of your homemade fermented honey garlic. Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes to make sure the flavors blend into the chicken.

Brush it onto a carrot and goat cheese tart

Goat cheese and honey make excellent bedfellows. Together they have starred in all sorts of sweet and savory dishes, as seen in a carrot and goat cheese tart recipe with parsley-mint pesto. This dish is characterized by the complex interplay of contrasting flavors that pop up in every corner — the sweet caramelized carrots are balanced out by the salty goat cheese, while the minty fresh pesto, combined with the raw garlic, is a force unto itself.

Within this context, fermented honey garlic can find pride of place. You can either swap out some of the fresh garlic in the goat cheese mixture with the honey-garlic concoction, or you can drizzle the honey with slices of fermented garlic on top of the tart. Or do both. 

Glaze fermented honey garlic onto cauliflower wings

Cauliflower obviously doesn't have wings, but sticky garlic cauliflower wings are so delicious that you'll enjoy the same feeling as eating chicken. The recipe — and the satisfaction it gives your taste buds — is characterized by a unique combination of flavors, bringing together sweet honey, umami-rich soy sauce, hot chile paste, and aromatic garlic.

It just so happens that fermented honey garlic already contains most of these flavors, all mixed together and intensifying for weeks. This is why our favorite honey-garlic ingredient would make an ideal addition to this recipe. For best results, use it in the mixture with the soy sauce, before heating it in a pan. This will become the sauce for tossing the cauliflower before serving. 

Incorporate it into a homemade teriyaki sauce

As with many condiments, a made-at-home version of teriyaki sauce stands head and shoulders above anything that can be purchased in a store — where it has probably been sitting for who knows how long. Luckily, teriyaki sauce is easy to make, as long as you have honey, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, and cornstarch.

And now, you can make an even better version of teriyaki by leaving out the honey and garlic, and using your fermented honey garlic instead. Just combine it with the other ingredients in a pot and heat the sauce until everything has dissolved and the liquid has thickened. Use your new and improved teriyaki sauce on a variety of dishes, like hearty roasted meats and stir-fried vegetables.

Let fermented honey garlic seep into your sandwich

Certain sandwiches can be turned into veritable gourmet experiences just by adding the right condiment. If you've managed to elevate a bland sandwich by adding sriracha-mayo or a dash of Dijon mustard, then you know what we're talking about. 

The same is true for a simple banh mi sandwich. This handheld meal calls for chicken and a mixture of vegetables to be tossed in sweet and sour sauces before being assembled into a sandwich, whereupon all those tasty juices will seep into the bread and create a satisfying dish jam-packed with flavor. Fermented honey garlic can be utilized at several stages here, but the best use of it would be as part of the sauce that goes over the chicken. Just be sure to hold the regular honey the recipe calls for, or the sandwich might end up being too sweet.

Pour it onto whipped ricotta

When you need an appetizer on the fly and all you have left in the fridge is a container of ricotta, things can seem a little dim. But with the right technique and topping, you can turn that container of mild cheese into a tasty starter or snack that can hold its own.

All you have to do is blitz the ricotta in a food processor along with some olive oil and seasoning, place it in a serving container, and top it with a delicious glaze. Similarly to a recipe for a fig and caramelized onion whipped ricotta dip, you can achieve a comparable effect with fermented honey garlic, which also provides an interesting sweet and tangy flavor that makes this an excellent appetite enticer.

Transform it into a quesadilla dip

You can probably use fermented honey garlic as a dip for many things, but we're here to narrow down your choices so that you don't have to spend too much time figuring out how best to enjoy this unique ingredient. Some of the best dishes that go with fermented honey garlic are not necessarily the ones you might expect. In fact, you probably haven't thought to dip quesadillas in it.

The combination works especially well with roasted corn and squash quesadillas, which normally would go with a spicy honey dipping sauce, but which might be even better when paired with fermented honey garlic, which goes nicely with the slightly sweet roasted vegetables in the quesadilla. Serve the dish with the fermented honey garlic on the side, or drizzled on top. 

Drizzle fermented honey garlic on pizza

Pizza in Italy tends to be fairly conservative, with a somewhat limited number and type of toppings. But in here in America, all bets are off — we're not constrained by the sometimes draconian rules that govern Italian pizza culture. Take garlic, for instance. It's not uncommon to find garlic on pizza in the U.S., but in Italy, you might be hard-pressed to find it, even though the country's cuisine uses it copiously elsewhere.

The same is true for honey, which, when used in moderation, can make a great flavor enhancer for any pizza, especially when it comes in the form of fermented honey garlic. That sweet and savory essence will work best with white pizzas with plenty of creamy cheese, and possibly topped with caramelized onions.

Include it in a charcuterie board

One of the simplest things you can do with fermented honey garlic is serve it as is. That's not to say that you should be eating it on its own. Rather, it can work well as a member of a charcuterie board, where you can pick at it, use it as a dip, spread it on something, or do pretty much anything else with it.

As a dip or spread, it will pair nicely with a wide range of cheeses. Mild cheeses like Camembert or soft goat cheese are often enhanced by sweet flavors, and your fermented honey garlic may even go well with some cured meats, such as thinly sliced salami or chorizo. The only pairings to steer clear of might be with pickles or olives, as their briny tastes might clash with the sweet honey.

Dollop fermented honey garlic over ham

While many meats pair well with sweet elements, ham seems to be best suited for that flavor. This is why we recommend making spiral-sliced honey-glazed ham with fermented honey garlic for extra flavor. You'll barely even have to alter the recipe to include this ingredient.

Just mix together the Dijon mustard and fermented honey garlic, leaving out the regular honey, and use the mixture to glaze the ham before baking it. This is a simple recipe that calls for few ingredients, and using fermented honey garlic instead of regular honey makes it even more flavorful without complicating things. However, if you want to make it a little more involved, you can safely add warm spices like cinnamon and cloves to the glaze without interfering with the other flavors.

Alb Media owns and operates Tasting Corner and Mashed.