• Kevin Armitage

Mayu (Black Garlic Oil) Recipe!

Hey guys! I know it has been a while, sorry about that. I have lacked motivation to write about the weight loss journey, because there has been a lack of weight loss recently. Currently, I am trying to figure out my next steps with regards to that. I still wanted to get you all a post, so I figured why not share one of my recent cooking successes!

I am on a quest to make a completely homemade bowl of ramen. Not the North American instant version, although Mr. Noodles have their place, but a bowl of proper Japanese Ramen! There are far more elements and steps than you might suspect in creating a great bowl of ramen.

What you see above is my end goal, a glorious bowl of Tonkotsu Ramen! Now I understand many reading might not have ever had something like this. Well, my goal is to bring such a dish to many of my friends mouths, up here in the frozen north. The cool thing about ramen is that even though some of the elements can take hours to prepare, making a large batch takes little extra time compared to a small batch.

So far, I have perfected the medium boiled egg and homemade ramen noodles. This past weekend I was finally able to finish a batch of Mayu that I was completely happy with. It took me three attempts trying out different methods but I was finally able to get it just right! Mayu is a Japanese condiment known as "Black Garlic Oil." The reason for this name will become apparent as you read on. An essential part of a good bowl of Tonkotsu is the toppings. In fact, ramen is made up of four essentials items: broth, noodles, tare (flavor base), and toppings. Mayu is one of my favorite toppings, if not my absolute favorite. It adds such a depth of flavor and its fragrance is unlike anything you will encounter. In my experience, when you go to a proper ramen shop, the most abundant scent you will encounter comes from the Mayu.

Here is how I made my Mayu:


- 1 full head of garlic

- 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil

- 1/4 cup vegetable oil (can substitute canola oil)

That is the base ingredient list, if you want to make more, just multiply the recipe as many times as you need. The cooking method will not change no matter the size of the batch.


1. Peel the garlic cloves. The easiest way to do this is to remove the cloves from the head, cut the tip/tail of each clove off, cutting close to the stem. Then put all the cloves in a steel bowl using a lid (I used a plate) and vigorously shake them in the bowl. After a few seconds the garlic cloves will separate from the skin.

2. Slice the garlic cloves into thin slices. I tried mincing in a previous batch, but found the thin slices work much better for this recipe.

3. Heat up both oils and the garlic slices on medium until the garlic starts to brown slightly. Stir often. I used a medium-sized cast iron pan as I feel it distributes heat more evenly than my non-stick pan.

4. Once the garlic starts to slightly brown, turn the heat down to medium-low and continue to stir often.

5. Once the garlic is golden brown, remove 1/3 of the garlic with a fine-mesh handheld strainer. Remove another 1/3 (1/2 of what is left) once it is dark brown. Finally, remove the remaining garlic once it is completely black and remove the oil from the heat. See below for what mine looked like each time.

6. Place all the garlic into a blender and carefully pour the hot oil in. Please take care when doing this, you are dealing with very hot oil. Also please note, you cannot completely seal the blender. Due to the heat and steam, the lid will be forced off in the middle of blending, leading to a mess, at minimum, and possibly burns. My blender lid has a small removable center plastic cap, I removed that and held a dishtowel over the hole to allow steam to escape and stop the oil from splattering out. Blend for 30 secs - 1 min until there are no garlic chunks remaining. Transfer to a container (I used a small glass jar) and refrigerate. Before you use, give the container a vigorous shake to make sure any settled sediment is mixed back in.

Please note, that while it is an oil, you should not cook with Mayu. It is a finishing oil, to be used as a condiment to add flavor to your completed dish. While I made this with ramen in mind, it is very good in many different applications. Basic white basmati rice flavored with a bit of soy sauce and a bit of Mayu is amazing. Add a bit to your stir-fries or soups. I even had a friend try some on vanilla ice cream; he said it was amazing. The possibilities are endless. Mayu has a very deep and rich flavor, so a little can go a long way.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, I will be doing more recipe/cooking posts in the future. In the next few weeks, it is my goal to have my first attempt at Tonkotsu (pork bone) broth, which is, at minimum, a 12-hour process to do properly. Stay tuned for a post about that. Have a great day!

This recipe was adapted from the one found here.

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