Chinese Chives (Jiu Cai) are herbs native to South East Asia, China in particular. They fall under the Onion family classification but are slightly different from green onions in structure and taste. Their flavourful taste led to the creation of dozens of Chinese chives recipes in China and the world as a whole. The chives have more benefits to them apart from culinary uses. In some countries, the Chinese chives grow as weeds and in others as ornamental plants thanks to their beautiful white blossoms. Other names for the Chinese chives are garlic chives, Oriental garlic or Chinese leeks.
Health Benefits of Chinese Chives
With the increase of diet-related diseases, it is only wise to know whether the food you are ingesting has any health benefits to you. You will be glad to know that the Chinese chives are almost a super food. Some of their health benefits include:
- Treating digestive issues such as stomach ulcers and irritable bowels. The chives also carry antiseptic properties that are paramount in battling gut bacteria.
- Chinese chives have a component called allicin that reduces bad cholesterol levels in your blood therefore reducing the chances of heart disease or other cardiovascular complications.
- Chinese chives are rich in Vitamin C, an important ingredient in the production of white blood cells and thus a boost in your body’s immunity.
- The herbs carry a rare and very important nutrient; Vitamin K. the vitamin is important in bone formation and maintenance. Regular consumption of Vitamin K keeps bone diseases such as arthritis at bay.
- Chinese chives are thought to have anticancer properties with specific attention on gut cancer.
- Chinese chives can help prevent and fight eye cataracts thus improving the human vision.
- When you are looking to do a body cleanse, Chinese chives are a great option to consider. Aside from their antibacterial features, the herbs also help clean out the blood system by stimulating kidney functions.
Chinese chives are clearly very important dietary additions. However, you should note that you should only partake in Chinese chives recipes occasionally. Consuming Chinese chives in high amounts can lead to stomach upset due to the imbalance of gut bacteria, some of which are necessary for proper digestion. It is also important to state that some people have reported cases of allium allergies. These reactions may result from using herbs in the onion family. If you notice unusual stomach upsets or occurrence of rashes after ingesting chives, seek medical help and advice.
4 Chinese Chives Recipes to Try Out
Like most recipes, chives recipes thrive on imagination. Cooking the perfect dish is almost like a science that requires a good balance of ingredients and before you know it, you have a mouthful of flavourful food! Here are some of the Chinese chives recipes we think you can easily put together and enjoy.
1.Stir-Fry Chinese Chives and Eggs
Eggs are always a nutritious and delicious addition to a meal! The eggs and chives recipe is packed with bursting flavours and more so, a whole lot of energy. This recipe can be a quick breakfast whip up or as an accompaniment for a side dish in case of lunch or dinner. The egg and chives stir-fry combination top the list of easy Chinese chives recipes.
This two-main-ingredient dish requires a maximum of fifteen minutes to make. Choose the number of eggs according to the amount of food you want to prepare. Whip up the eggs in a separate bowl and place the chopped Chinese chives in another. Heat two spoons of oil in a wok and slowly add in the eggs. Once they settle, start stirring to make small and separate chunks. Slowly add the chives and keep stirring until the chives and eggs cook. Serve them in hot and enjoy.
2.Chinese Chives With 5-Spice Tofu
This is one of the brilliant options of the Chinese chives recipes. It also requires just two ingredients. The 5-spice tofu is available in most Asian grocery stores and other big food chains. You will need about three slices of the whole tofu block and a bout a handful of chives.
Prepare the two ingredients in two separate bowls. You can cut the tofu into strips, cubes or just slices to fit your preference. Chop the chives into strips or smaller pieces as preferred as well. Once the ingredients are prepared, preheat some oil in a skillet. Add the chives and let them cook until they are soft. Add in the tofu and stir to equally distribute the pieces. Let the ingredients cook for about 5 minutes then serve. You can add salt and pepper to taste.
3.Chinese Chive Pockets
Most Chinese chive recipes are simple and fast. But sometimes with added ingredients, you can make up a great assembly of flavours. Chinese chive pockets fall in line of pastry snacks. They are not as difficult to make as they may sound and the best part is that you do not need an oven! The pockets are made from a simple mixture of hot water and dough. The filling mainly consists of Chinese chives, eggs and noodles.
You can always play around with this by adding other ingredients such as ham, minced meat, mushrooms etc. Once the dough is ready, divide it into equal portions and make the pockets. Fill them with the finely chopped ingredients starring Chinese chives and seal them. Finally place them in preheated oil in a wok and cover as each side cooks. You can enjoy these delicious bites with a cold or hot drink.
4.Shrimps and Chives Stir-Fry
As we can see, almost all Chinese chive recipes are stir-fry dishes. These are our favourites because they are very easy to make even for a beginner. They are also quite budget effective as they require only 5 or less ingredients. Furthermore, stir-fry dishes are a healthier alternative to deep-frying because of the little amounts of cooking oil.
The shrimp and Chinese chive dish does not disappoint at all. It is very similar to the egg and chive recipe, but with the addition of shrimp. Make sure to use big shrimp so that you can have a fuller meal that won’t require any side dishes. The shrimp cooks first by stir-frying it for about one minute. Make sure not to overcook because it will still go back to the pan. Once pink, add in the chives and stir-fry for another minute. Set these aside and make scrambled eggs. Once the chunks start to form, add the pre-cooked shrimp and chives and cook for about 2 minutes. Serve this protein packed meal with a drink of your choice and enjoy.
Chinese chives recipes are exclusive of aromatics such as garlic and onions for a reason. The chives are very flavourful and distinct in taste thus adding other spices might be an overload.