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Garlic chives

garlic chive budsOver the weekend, my mom gave me a lovely bunch of garlic chive buds freshly cut from a friend’s garden. Used primarily in Asian cooking, garlic chives are different than the thin, hollow little stems you chop up and sprinkle over baked potatoes — the leaves are flat and broad like blades of grass but much longer, and they taste like garlic. (Imagine that!) Each garlic chive plant produces only one bud stalk which is thinner, more tender, and more garlicky than the leaves. Because of the intense flavor, relative scarcity, and the amount of time it takes to gather a bunch of these, garlic chive buds are considered a delicacy. Many people simply chop them up and stir-fry them on their own. That’s how I prefer them, and they’re great with just a touch of sea salt.

Garlic chive leaves can also be used in stir-fries and pair particularly well with seafood. My uncle once made these phenomenal deep-fried spring rolls filled with chopped garlic chives and oysters — one of the top five most delicious things I’ve ever eaten, no joke. I’m too lazy to deep fry anything, but a garlic chive and shrimp stir-fry is easy and pretty tasty as well.

There are plenty of other ways to use garlic chives. You can mince them and make pork and chive dumplings, vegetarian dumplings, or add them to soup or noodle dishes. My mom’s favorite cooking method is scrambling them with eggs.

Garlic Chive Scrambled Eggs

Serves 1-2

small bunch of garlic chives, to make 1/2 cup chopped
4 eggs
2 T vegetable oil (or less if preferred)
1/2 t salt

Rinse and drain the chives, cutting off tough ends and discarding any wilted leaves. Chop the chives into 1-inch lengths. Beat eggs; add salt to eggs. Heat a skillet on medium-high heat. Add oil; add chives when oil is hot. Saute for about a minute or until chives turn a bright green but are not yet soft. Add beaten eggs. Reduce heat to medium. Scramble eggs and serve hot.

This is great for breakfast and also makes a very easy light dinner served with a bowl of rice. Taiwanese folks (and I’m sure other Asians) sometimes eat eggs for dinner. Yum!


  1. Cat wrote:

    I’m crying tears of jealousy.

    Monday, August 20, 2007 at 12:22 pm | Permalink
  2. Cindy’s moving to DC! Next time I’m in town, we’ll go find some garlic chive-based food :)

    Tuesday, August 21, 2007 at 12:25 am | Permalink
  3. Cat wrote:

    You BETTER come hang out with me. :)

    Tuesday, August 21, 2007 at 9:24 am | Permalink
  4. Of course I will! :)

    Tuesday, August 21, 2007 at 7:26 pm | Permalink
  5. Cat wrote:

    We Southerners sometimes have “breakfast” for dinner too. Especially grits. :)

    Thursday, August 23, 2007 at 9:44 am | Permalink
  6. Josh wrote:

    I like chives. with sour cream. sprinkled on a baked po-ta-toh. ooh yeah!

    Wednesday, September 12, 2007 at 9:14 am | Permalink
  7. I toldja it’s not that sorta chives! 8-X

    Wednesday, September 12, 2007 at 11:07 am | Permalink

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. wasabigelatine › Sugar snap peas on Wednesday, June 18, 2008 at 12:15 am

    [...] in Taiwan, so it was easy for her to coax a few small crops from our suburban soil — pungent garlic chives, warty bitter melon, some Asian greens, and a couple of others. My favorite was sugar snap peas. I [...]

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