April 27, 2004
Braised Flowering Chives with Ginger

This is the other recipe I made this weekend from Vegetarian Asian: The Essential Kitchen by Lynelle Scott Aitken, a skinny little cookbook I highly recommend.

I think this might have been the best thing I've cooked in a long time. The hard part is finding the flowering chives. They are also known as flowering Chinese leek, flowering Chinese chives, bng he or kau choy fah.

Try Asian markets for these sorts of vegetables. I found mine at the Mien Hoa market on Argyle in Chicago. Turns out they're related to garlic, which explains the incredible flavor and aroma.

The recipe is simple and fast and the results are delicious

Braised Flowering chives with ginger:

1 big bunch or 2 small bunches flowering chives
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves of minced garlic
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 small green bell pepper, julienned (cut into thin long strips)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon corn starch diluted in 3 tablespoons of water.

Trim the base of the chives by 1 inch.
Warm the vegetable oil over medium high heat in a skillet or wok.
Add the garlic, ginger and bell pepper and stir fry for 1 minute until they start to color. Add the flowering chives and toss for 1 minute more (maybe 2 minutes if you like them less stiff).

Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until the sauce is thick and clear - about 2 minutes.

Serve immediately by itself or with rice.

There were no flowering chives left by the time dinner was finished. Everything else had leftovers but these were long disappeared into the bellies of the assembled host.

You can learn a little more about Asian Vegetables at this site, from where I stole the flowering chives picture.

Posted by Barrett in Maryland at April 27, 2004 11:25 PM | TrackBack Print-friendly version

Barrett, thanks for the photo (without which I would really be wondering how exotic this is). Two questions: do the flowers taste different from the stems? can I get these by simply letting the chives in my windowbox go to flower, or is it a special variety?

Inquiring minds want to know...

Posted by Meg in Paris on April 28, 2004 at 3:35 AM

I think they're a different species, but you could give the flowering idea a shot. Worst case, you get pretty flowers.

The flowers don't taste very different, but the texture is nice.

Posted by Barrett on April 28, 2004 at 7:18 AM

I can't wait until I have a garden again and can grow something like flowering chives. There are so many wonderful things that you almost have to grow yourself.

Posted by Todd on April 28, 2004 at 7:36 AM

Chives can be grown in a windowbox pretty easily, actually. I've been an urban gardener for the last few years, and it's amazing what you can do with a balcony and a little sunshine: tomatoes, all variety of herbs, strawberries and even a couple of moderately successful zucchini plants!

Posted by Meg in Paris on April 28, 2004 at 8:08 AM

I love flowering chives.
they're also great when sauteed with prawns.
they can also be fairly finely chopped, mixed with some minced pork and used as a filling for either steamed dumplings or dumplings in soup : )

Posted by Renee on April 28, 2004 at 12:14 PM

I had these when I was in Shanghai China and they were absolutely wonderful. I've been trying to find a recipe ever since.

Posted by Mike on August 27, 2004 at 6:24 AM
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