Garlic chives have green, flat and wide leaves that can grow up to 38 centimeters in length. Each stem has a small, inedible white bulb at the base with white star-shaped flowers at the top that are edible and bloom in the spring. Garlic chives have a rich flavor that is often described as a mix of garlic and onion but are less pungent than a clove of garlic.
Garlic chives are available beginning late winter through the summer months.
Garlic chives, botanically classified as Allium tuberosum, are grown for the flowers and the stems. Also known as Chinese chives, Oriental garlic, Asian chives, and Chinese leek, Garlic chives are grown for culinary and ornamental purposes. Unlike garlic which is prized for its bulbs, the bulbs of Garlic chives are inedible. Garlic chives are similarly used to standard chives, and both the leaves and the flowers are used as a flavoring for many types of dishes.
Garlic chives are rich in vitamin C, and contain carotene, vitamin B1 and B2, calcium, and iron.
Garlic chives can be used in both raw and cooked applications. Traditionally Garlic chives are a classic element of pad Thai and many other Asian dishes. They can be used in stir-fry, tempura, stuffed into dumplings, and used in egg dishes. Garlic chives can also be minced and used to finish meat, poultry, or seafood dishes and used to flavor soups, marinades, vinegar, and dipping sauces. Garlic chives pair well with fresh herbs, soft cheeses, mushrooms, noodles, meats, and chilies. Garlic chives will keep for a few days when stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.