I was reading a question and in it, burnt garlic was a topic in which the answerer said that burnt (very brown, not black) garlic is bitter. They went on further to say that any dish with burnt garlic is ruined, and you should throw it out and begin anew. I was first curious if there was any way to save the dish (a couple sources said no), but I was then curious as to dishes that utilize that burnt flavor.

I know a lot of dishes like to capitalize on the most bitter aspect (I know a few with bitter gourds), so I'd like to see if this is something that can be capitalized on.

Do dishes exist that capitalize on the "burnt" flavor (very brown, not actually blackened burnt) of overcooked garlic?

Note: I wasn't sure about the closability of this. If it's off-topic, please let me know and I'll delete it.

  • There are mexican cuisines that burn things for the flavor, but they're not burning garlic: nytimes.com/2017/01/24/dining/… . Look for Oaxacan recipes
    – Joe
    Nov 6, 2018 at 0:05

3 Answers 3


I've seen a handful of different recipes that utilize burnt garlic as a main flavor ingredient.

One that seems particularly interesting is "Burnt Garlic-Sesame-Chili Oil", which can be used as a condiment in ramen noodle soups. I haven't tried making it, but I'm pretty sure I have eaten something like this before. It has a spicy and smokey flavor. I'm not sure if I should paste the whole recipe here, but here is the link: https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2013/09/burnt-garlic-sesame-chili-oil-for-ramen-recipe.html



My favorite recipe for red lentils (masoor dal) supposedly borrows from Vietnamese cooking, and calls for charring cloves of garlic and slices of ginger before adding them to the cooking liquor, along with coriander stalks. A nice smokey note. But not really there for the bitterness.. not enough burning to make that significant.

Having said that, I've seen Vietnamese recipes involving charred ginger, but not garlic.. maybe a local can fill us in?


Burnt Garlic is a MUST for Dahl. Without it you’re not eating Dahl. The flavor it brings is unmatched and I absolutely love the taste!

  • This answer invites resistance. One person's matchless could well be another's ho-hum, and dogma about what goes in a dish is not a technical answer. You might improve this by explaining in which culture and locale your view is usual.
    – ariola
    Mar 20 at 9:16

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