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Garlic Chives

For a plant so simple in appearance you’d think it is just wild grass if not for the beautiful white flowers, garlic chives go by a lot of different names, depending on where you are in the world. In China alone, there are at least seven different names used to refer to garlic chives. The Vietnamese call it hẹ, while in Thailand, garlic chives are called kuichai. In Korea, garlic chives are called buchu or puch’u, while in Japan, it is called nira. But regardless of what or how we call garlic chives, one thing is certain: this simple plant adds an amazing flavor to dishes which makes them enjoyable to eat. This is the reason why you can find garlic chives in different parts of the globe.

Classification Information:
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. tuberosum
Binomial name: Allium tuberosum

Garlic Chives Trivia

  • Garlic chives are also known as Oriental garlic, Asian chives, Chinese chives, and Chinese leek.
  • The first person to describe the taxonomy of garlic chives is French missionary and botanist Johan Peter Rottler.
  • In ancient times, garlic chives were once thought of as a potent antidote for poison.
  • Some people believe that eating garlic chives raw helps relieve stress and fatigue.

Garlic Chives Buying Guide

Garlic chives or common chives? Check the leaves – garlic chives have wider flat leaves that look like grass. Many cultivars have been developed in recent years for culinary and ornamental reasons. However, this will not be a problem if you are unfamiliar with the varieties because when you go to the market, this is simply labeled as garlic chives.

Garlic chives in its different forms are sold in the market, in the grocery, in farm stands, even in garden nurseries. You can buy garlic chives that are freshly-cut and freshly-packaged, dried, and powdered. When buying, make sure to always check the condition of the leaves.

Garlic Chives Production & Farming in Texas

In Texas, garlic chives can be planted; however, how garlic chives behave depends on the type of climate in a specific location in Texas. In warm areas, garlic chives will remain green all year round. This applies in Texas areas tagged as USDA zone 8 or 9 (in the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map). Dallas, Waco, Bryan College Station, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio are Zone 8, while Corpus Christi and Laredo are Zone 9A and McAllen Zone 9B. 

For USDA zones 7 to 4b (in the case of Texas, it is Lubbock and El Paso which are both Zone 7 and Amarillo which is Zone 6), expect the leaves and stalks of garlic chives to completely die back to the ground but don’t worry. It will resprout from roots or rhizomes in the spring.

Growing garlic chives can be done either through planting seeds or propagated by dividing its clumps. The ideal condition for garlic chives is slightly acidic soil with a pH of 6-7> It also does well when the soil has high organic content, which can be achieved through composting.


Garlic chives are usually pest-free. The only problem is thrips. When you see thrips on your garlic chives, make sure to address the problem quickly because this pest can kill the plant very quickly. To kill thrips, there is a wide array of options to choose from: horticultural oil, insecticidal soap, or pyrethrin pesticides with piperonyl butoxide.


Garlic chives are native to the Chinese province of Shanxi. Today, it is cultivated and naturalized around the world. Garlic chives are widespread in Asia, Europe, and North America that it is sometimes considered as invasive. In the United States, garlic chives are commonly seen growing wild in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Nebraska, Alabama, Iowa, Arkansas, and Wisconsin.


Freshly-cut and freshly-packaged garlic chives are sold in the market or the produce section of the grocery packed in a sealed transparent clamshell plastic container. Dried and powdered garlic chives come in plastic or glass bottles, or in a plastic pack.

Enjoying Garlic Chives

You can eat garlic chives raw or cooked. You will notice the garlic flavor it lends to a dish. If you compare garlic chives with chives, garlic chives are the stronger of the two when it comes to flavor and aroma. Garlic chives are yummy to eat especially with other herbs like tarragon or parsley. It is versatile and tastes great cooked with either vinegar or soy sauce (why not both?). Any dish that pairs garlic chives with lemon or with ginger or potatoes promises to be delicious because of the combination of flavors.


Put garlic chives inside a plastic bag or wrap it in a paper cloth or towel before putting it inside the refrigerator for storage so you can still use it days later. Unlike other herbs or plants used for flavoring which can be stored in the freezer, it is not ideal for garlic chives to be frozen unless the process used is commercial quick-freezing

You can dry garlic chives too. Use the microwave to flash-dry garlic chives (start by heating it for 20 seconds and adjust accordingly depending on how the drying is turning out. Once it is brittle, you can crush it and put it inside an herb bottle or any container with a lid. Store somewhere cool, dry, and away from direct sunlight. If you don’t have a microwave, try using a drying screen and place this in a warm, dry room to allow it to completely dry. If you are not in a hurry, you can just tie it in a bundle and hang it somewhere where it will never get wet, and wait for it to dry.


The most common use for garlic chives is as a garnish, sprinkling it on soups and stews. But garlic chives can also be cooked like a vegetable; add it to your stir-fry dish or use garlic chives as stuffing for dumplings or a component for making tempura.

Chinese cuisine has pushed the culinary capabilities of garlic chives, putting it in jiǎozi dumplings, using it in stir-fry recipes, and in making pancakes known as jiucai bing or jiucai you bing, among others. In other countries, garlic chives also play an important part in how they cook. In many places in India, for example, the use of garlic chives as a substitute for onion and garlic is a common practice, while in Japan, garlic chives are used in cooking miso soups, in making salads, and in cooking stir-fry dishes. This is also used as a filling of the gyōza dumpling. Kazakhstanis also use garlic chives, particularly when making manty, samsa, and yuta, while Koreans eat fresh garlic chives, pickle it as kimchi and jangajji, or use it as an ingredient in making a pancake called buchimgae. Gukbap, which is soup with rice, is made using garlic chives, and similar to the Chinese and the Japanese, garlic chives are also used here as filling for dumplings called mandu. Nepalese curry and Vietnamese broth dishes taste better because of the garlic chives in it.


A steady diet of food that includes garlic chives means our body is getting Vitamin C to help prevent the onset of common cold and fever. Garlic chives offer more – it also has riboflavin, potassium, vitamin A, iron, thiamin, and beta carotene, which can do wonders for us like help keep our blood pressure low and our immunity high.

  • Calcium: 92mg
  • Iron: 1.60mg
  • Potassium: 296mg
  • Sodium: 3mg

Nutritional Benefits:

Eating garlic chives can help prevent cancer and osteoporosis. It also helps improve memory and help prevent the early onset of cognitive disorders because of its choline and folate content. Eating garlic chives is good for the liver, kidney, and digestive system, and because it has high dietary fiber and protein, it helps the body achieve balanced metabolism.



  • Serving Size: 1 Tablespoon, Chopped (3g)
  • Calories: 0.9 0%
  • Carbs: 0.1g 0%
  • Sugar: 0.1g
  • Fiber: 0.1g 0%
  • Protein: 0.1g 0%
  • Fat: 0g 0%
  • Saturated Fat: 0g 0%
  • Trans Fat 0g 0%
  • Cholesterol 0mg 0%
  • Sodium 0.1mg 0%
  • Vitamin C 1.7mg 3%
  • Vitamin A 131Iu 3%
  • Calcium 2.8mg 0%
  • Iron 0mg 0%
  • Vitamin K 6.4mcg 8%
  • Folate 3.2mcg 1%
  • Potassium 8.9mg 0%
  • Magnesium 1.3mg 0%
  • Phosphorus 1.7mg 0%

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