Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Chinese Leeks


helenas
 Share

Recommended Posts

Cannot find any information of Chinese Leeks which started to appear in local asian groceries recently.

They remind me of yound garlic :unsure: Damn tasty even in their raw state, although i'm planning to make a basic stir-fry with chinese broccoli.

Any information greatly appreciated.

EDIT: they look like a young leek although a bulb as more pronounced.

Edited by helenas (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You may be talking about garlic chives, a.k.a. jiu cai/gau choy. I wouldn't stir fry them with another green vegetable, as they would tend to overpower it. My wife usually uses them with meats, eggs, and in soup. She makes a shui jiao stuffing that's mostly jiu cai with a little ground pork (always makes me belch) and a fuyong-like thing with beaten eggs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are talking about the green stem with the flower-bud tip (Jiu cai hua) rather than the leek (da suan) that is white, or the Chinese chive that is flat, then my favorite way is the stir/fry it with beef hreds that have been marinated with a soy, sherry, sugar, cornstarch and hoisin marinade.

Dahlen and Phillips's "A Popular Guide to Chinese Vegetables", describes leeks as 10 to 12 inches long,1' in diameter, cylindrical, and a non-bulbous neck. They say the Cantonese treat it as an onion -- like in stir/fried beef and onions. In the North it is chopped in strips and rolled, in a pancake, with filling and a sauce, but it doesn't give a recipe.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are talking about the green stem with the flower-bud tip (Jiu cai hua) rather than the leek (da suan) that is white, or the Chinese chive that is flat, then my favorite way is the stir/fry it with beef hreds that have been marinated with a soy, sherry, sugar, cornstarch and hoisin marinade.

Dahlen and Phillips's "A Popular Guide to Chinese Vegetables",  describes leeks as 10 to 12 inches long,1' in diameter, cylindrical, and a non-bulbous neck. They  say the Cantonese treat it as an onion -- like in stir/fried beef and onions.  In the North it is chopped in strips and rolled, in a pancake, with filling and a sauce, but it doesn't give a recipe.

I wasn't familiar with the term Chinese leeks, but Google brought up a number of mentions that it was another name for Chinese chives (which is yet another name for jiu cai), or, to be scientific, Allium Tuberosum. I don't recall if they have any visible bulb, but we only use the green shoots in any event. They are available year round here (well, this is California). Are we all talking about the same thing?

Da suan is what my wife calls common garlic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dahlen and Phillips's "A Popular Guide to Chinese Vegetables",  describes leeks as 10 to 12 inches long,1' in diameter, cylindrical, and a non-bulbous neck.

This description sounds like a regular leek.

The chinese leeks i have look differently and they are not chives either: at least they don't look similar to any of three varieties of chives i see in asian groceries.

They have a small (1/2-3/4 inch) but pronounced white bulb with somewhat pinkish neck, and flat narrow leaves, about 3/8 inch width. I'd say the taste and appearance somehow reminds me of ramps... and btw, Bruce Cost does mention chinese leeks in his Asian Ingredients book, but as not available in US.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's plenty of confusion over Asian vegetable names, even in China (the same characters mean bok choy to a Cantonese and Napa cabbage to a Shanghainese). 80 percent of the references to "Chinese leeks" I came up with on Google pointed to "garlic chives", or allium tuberosum.

If that's what you got, use sparingly at first. They are quite pungent when cooked. They also (to my taste buds) impart a sour taste.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They are labeled as chinese leek in both chinese supermarkets i visited last week. And no, it's definitely not a spring onion, and i don't think it's a young garlic, because there are no cloves at all. the cut-up looks exactly like the one of a leek. (and it doesn't smell like a garlic)

Edited by helenas (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's plenty of confusion over Asian vegetable names, even in China (the same characters mean bok choy to a Cantonese and Napa cabbage to a Shanghainese). 80 percent of the references to "Chinese leeks" I came up with on Google pointed to "garlic chives", or allium tuberosum.

I'll say! For the same long green, stiffish, round stem with the closed bulb at the tip, is 'suan miao' in Beijung, --- and 'jiu cai hua' in other places. Same vegetable, different characters, similar meaning.

In "A Classified and Illustrated Chinese-English Dictionary"( Guangzhou Inst. of Foreign Languages), they have 'da suan' listed as garlic and 'jiu cai' as Chinese leek. AARRGGHHHH!

I'm glad I just need to select the vegetable I want and not rely on the name.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I bought a few of those yesterday. I thought they were young garlic but they were definitely identical to the photo. After trimming them a little I sautéed them whole until lightly browned, seasoned them and continued to cook covered over very low heat until they began to soften (about 5 minutes). Unorthodox perhaps but a great accompaniment to our grill hanger steak.

Ruth Friedman

Link to comment
Share on other sites

helenas - Thanks for the picture. It kinda looks like the picture in the Dahlen book of their Chinese Chive, but the picture )(hand drawn) doesn't include the bulb root tip. It does show the green leaves, separated at the top, then formed into one white stalk, at the bottom. The book also says that they are usually sold as leaves, never with the bulb. (Times are changing!!)

Here is a link to a 'google' picture: The bottom picture show that pink you were talking about.

http://www.agrohaitai.com/herb/chinesechiv...inesechives.htm

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chinese leeks

Chinese leeks are NOT the same as Chinese chives (jiu cai), or flowering

chives (jiu cai hua) or spring onions (cong). They do look a little like

Chinese green onions aka spring onions, but they have flat leaves like

leeks, not tubular ones like spring onions. They are a member of the

alliums, can't remember which Latin name as I'm in China and don't have my

reference books with me (but it's probably in my book 'Sichuan Plenty/'Land

of Plenty' (US edition)).

One of the reasons for all the confusion is that people have different names

for them in different parts of China. For example, in Sichuan they are 'suan

miao', in Hunan they are 'da suan' (big garlic), and others call them 'qing

suan' (green garlic). They are not to my knowledge eaten raw, but feature in

countless stir-fries, and are also added towards the end of cooking in many

stew-type dishes. They are the most commonly used vegetable in Sichuanese

twice-cooked pork (hui guo rou) and pock-marked mother chen's beancurd (ma

po dou fu) - see the recipes in my book .

They are hard to find in London, but pop up occasionally in Chinatown in

winter. They are a fantastic vegetable so do make the most of them!! Most of

the time I have to make do with baby leeks or spring onions, neither of

which is ideal - eg baby leeks take longer to cook than suan miao.

Hope this is helpful

Fuchsia

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chinese leeks

Chinese leeks are NOT the same as Chinese chives (jiu cai), or flowering

chives (jiu cai hua) or spring onions (cong). They do look a little like

Chinese green onions aka spring onions, but they have flat leaves like

leeks, not tubular ones like spring onions.

Thanks Fuschia. I agree that there is a lot of confusion in the naming, and without a good photo it's hard to tell what someone is trying to describe. My wife shops with her eyes, and when I ask her what something is called, what she tells me may be totally different from what someone from a different part of China would call it.

I think what you are talking about often appears on menus as "garlic shoots" in the US and has a mild garlicky flavor, not nearly as pungent as jiu cai.

Can you weigh in on the Sichuan peppercorn issue? They're definitely NOT readily available in the US these days because of the ban. What's the best substitute, the legally imported roasted and ground stuff?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, yes, these are the "green garlic" that people called in Taiwan.

It's a winter vegetable there and usually more expensive than regular "green onion" and garlic. They are not only for cooking but also for eating raw.

**Thinly sliced raw white part can be paired with roated Chinese sausages or a kind of precious cured fish roe(I don't think it can be found in US).

**When prepare dipping souce for winter hot pot or dumplings, finely chop some then mix with other ingredents.

Just like Fiore said they are supposed be used to cook in many Sichaunese dishes instead of "green onion". I use them to cook Ma-Po Tofu all winter whenever I can find them.

Thinly sliced these "green garlic" stir fry with Chinese version cured meat (if you like them) is a typical winter dish.

When spring come, there is yet another vegetable(garlic flower-stem) from garlic family will appear to confuse people. You will find them in Chinese and Korean market. :cool:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

I should have rephrased my question helenas. Is the green leaf part flat or hollow? Allium ramosum are commonly called garlic chives in english. One blade of the green part is flat, where one blade of the green part of a regular chive would be hollow, like a scallion.

Garlic chives (aka Chinese chives) can be used just like scallions. There are many references to them on egullet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

mudbug, there are no leaves in the bag: just stem pieces, pale green and sort of roundish.

At the same day in chinese supermarket the following so to speak exotic varieties of allium were presented and i'm quite familiar with all of them:

flowering chives, chinese chives, yellow chives, chinese leeks (the ones that started this thread).

But this leek sum is none of them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Leek SUM. Sum meaning "heart" =Leek heart??

In my Dahlen/Phillips Chinese Vegetable book, there is a Leek called Da Suan / Daai Suen that is Allium ampeloprasum. It is whitish-pale green about 10 to 12 long and an inch at its base with root tuffs. It looks solid.

But here is a picture like the one in the book:

http://images.google.com/images?q=Allium+a...G=Google+Search

3rd row on the right.

Could it be it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...