Other names: Gau Choy, Chinese chives, Chinese Leek, Nira (in Japan)
Availability: All year.
Source: Mexico and the United States.
Handling Tips: 38° F Keep dry.
General Information: Similar in appearance to chives, garlic chives have wider, flatter stems that are also hollow. Also known as Chinese chives, garlic chives (Allium tuberosum), can be used and stored in the same manner as chives. As you would expect, garlic chives have a delicate garlic flavor and are used extensively in oriental dishes.
Nutritional: Garlic chives pack a major nutritional punch for a mere 30 calories per 100 grams. Low in fat and high in dietary fibre and protein, they contain high amounts of Vitamin C and carotene, and are a good source of calcium. They also contain Vitamin B1 and B2. In Chinese medicine, garlic chives are considered to be a yin or warming food.
Applications: The combination of a chive-like appearance and strong flavor makes garlic chives a popular seasoning. You'll find chopped chives showing up in Chinese recipes for soups, stews, salads and even meat marinades.
History: The Chinese have been growing and cooking with garlic chives for at least 3,000 years (since the Chou dynasty - 1027 BC to 256 BC).) But the popularity of this graceful herb with the pretty white flowers extends beyond China. Japanese cooks call garlic chives 'nira' and use them frequently in meat and seafood recipes.
Stir-fry Recipe Using Flowering Chives