Botanical Name: Allium Tuberosum
Some other names: Thai leeks, Chinese Chives, Gow choy, Oriental garlic.
How to grow it:
Garlic chives are a perennial herb to about 50cm with strap like leaves that distinguish it from it’s close cousin Onion chives. I’ve found it to be much more hardy & prolific than onion chives. Handles all soils well & does best in full sun.
In warmer climates it will grow & can be harvested all year round, in colder climates it might die down in winter, but resprout pretty quickly when the weather warms up.
Will benefit from the addition of fertiliser and regular watering, but seems to grow happily without much care
Will do very well in pots but will need to be pulled up & thinned out every couple of years.
Garlic chives have a very strong root system and will handle neglect where most other plants won’t. Often when I’ve seen a run-down vegetable patch, the only plant outcompeting the weeds & handling drought are the garlic chives. Seems to grow faster if it’s harvested regularly.
It grows easily from seed, but once you have plants established, the best way to propogate is to dig the whole plant up, divide the bulbs and roots into small sections & replant. Within a week or two, the plants are on their way again.
You won’t have to look very hard to find seeds or plants at your local nursery.
High in Vitamin C also rich in vitamins A & B, iron, calcium, sulfur and magnesium. Good tonic herb to take regularly.
Using it in the kitchen:
Garlic chives can be used in all dishes – cooked & uncooked where the delicate flavour of onions & garlic are required.
The upper green parts can be used in salads & sandwiches to great effect. They can be chopped finely, but I prefer them cut in 2-3cm sections as shown below – the flavour seems a little more noticeable.
When used in cooking, the upper parts can be added to soups, casseroles, omelettes & stir fries but I suggest adding them only at the last minute or the flavour will be lost. The lower white parts can be treated just like you would leeks, or my favourite is to add them to stir fries for a delicious garlic flavour burst.
Rarely a meal goes by that I’m not using garlic chives both for the flavour & health giving properties.
Garlic chives are a great survival food as they seem to survive any conditions and have great nutrition. If I was in a survival situation, I’d cherish them for the flavour they would add to my food.