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Chinese chives/leek flowers

Sirina | Sep 6, 2000 04:46 PM

There was some discussion about "leed" or leek flowers, served at Full Kee, in a previous chain. I am pretty sure that these are the unopened flower buds and stalks from the Chinese chive plant. We grew these in my back yard when I was a kid. Chinese chives, like regular chives, have an oniony flavor. The leaves are flat and long, like large blades of grass. They are used as a vegetable, in stir-frys or in dumpling fillings -- good dim-sum places often have dumplings with Chinese chives and pork.

The flowers grow on stalks 12-18" long, which, as pointed out in the earlier discussion, are solid and a bit flat. We used to pick them by hand before the flowers opened up and the stalks were still tender. Then we'd cut them into 1-2" sections and stir-fry them with julienned pork. Mmmm

Yellow chives were also mentioned. These come from the same plant. To make them yellow, the leaves (and flower stalks, if desired), are covered with black plastic. That causes them to lose their green chlorophyll. The yellow chives are pretty and taste milder than the green.

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