Garlic Chives and The Flowers

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Garlic Chives
Garlic Chive (Allium tuberosum) is one of my favourite Ingredients. It has a flat, narrow, green stalk with a sharp, herbal garlic flavour and according to, it is originally from Southeast Asia.

I’ve known garlic chive since I was a kid, but apparently this ingredient is quite new to the English speaking countries. At most markets here, people sell regular chives (Allium schoenoprasum) which have long, thin, deep green, pointed, hollow leaves with a mild herbal onion flavour. Chives have been around so long that their origin is unknown. The most delicate member of the onion family, chives are mostly used fresh because they lose much of their flavor by drying, though they are often freeze-dried.

In Indonesian term, garlic chives are known as kucai while regular chives are known as bawang cung. In Eastern Javanese cooking, regular chives are used for sprinkling rawon (Beef in Black Broth Soup). Garlic chives are added for making Asian style pancakes, soup, dumplings and stir fry dishes. The flowers of garlic chive are also delicious for soup and seafood or meat stir fry.

Other names for Garlic Chives:
– Chinese Chives
– Chinese Leeks,
– Ku Chai
– Jiu Cai
– Oriental Garlic Chives o
– Kucai (Indonesian/Malay)
– Nira
– Kuse/Cu-se (Kampangan, Philippines)
– Buchu, Sol, or Jeonnguji (Korean)
– Hẹ (Vietnamese).

I used garlic chives quite often at home, for sprinkling the soup and recipes of Cwi Mie Malang (Malang Style Chicken Noodle) and Shrimp Chive Dumplings.

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About the Author

An Indonesian-born who lived in Winnipeg Edmonton, Canada for more than a decade prior to move to Edmonton in 2017. Indonesia Eats is a memoir of her homeland.