|kow choi 韭菜
|Flowering garlic chives|
Rottler ex Spreng.
Allium tuberosum, (commonly known as garlic chives, Chinese chives, Oriental garlic, Chinese leek, also known by the Chinese name kow choi (also transliterated as gau choy; Chinese: 韭菜; Mandarin Pinyin: Jiǔcài; Wade–Giles: Chiu3-ts'ai4; Jyutping: gau2 coi3), or the Japanese name nira, is a vegetable related to onion. The Chinese name for the species is variously adapted and transliterated as cuchay, jiucai, kucai, kuchay, or kutsay in Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. It is also sometimes called "green nira grass" where "nira" is Romanization of the Japanese word "ニラ" which means garlic chives. The plant has a distinctive growth habit with strap-shaped leaves unlike either onion or garlic, and straight thin white-flowering stalks that are much taller than the leaves. The flavor is more like garlic than chives. It grows in slowly expanding perennial clumps, but also readily sprouts from seed. In warmer areas, garlic chives may remain green all year round. In cold climates, aerial parts of garlic chives will die back completely to the ground and the roots/rhizomes will over-winter and then re-sprout in spring time.
Both leaves and the stalks and immature, unopened flower buds are used as a flavoring in a similar way to chives, scallions or garlic and are used as a stir fry ingredient. In China, they are often used to make dumplings with a combination of egg, shrimp and pork. They are a common ingredient in Chinese jiaozi dumplings and the Japanese and Korean equivalents. The flowers may also be used as a spice. In Vietnam, the leaves of garlic chives are cut up into short pieces and used as the only vegetable in a broth with sliced pork kidneys.
A Chinese flatbread similar to the scallion pancake may be made with garlic chives instead of scallions; such a pancake is called a jiucai bing (韭菜饼) or jiucai you bing (韭菜油饼). Garlic chives are also one of the main ingredients used with Yi mein dishes.
Garlic chives are widely used in Korean cuisine, most notably in dishes such as buchukimchi (부추김치, garlic chive kimchi), buchujeon (부추전, garlic chive pancakes), or jaecheopguk (a guk, or clear soup, made with garlic chives and Asian clams).
In Nepal, cooks fry a curried vegetable dish of potatoes and A. tuberosum known as dunduko sag.
In Manipur, India, garlic chives locally known as 'maroi nakuppi' are widely used in Manipuri Cuisine dishes like Ooti and various others.
As a weed
Allium tuberosum is one of several Allium species known as wild onion and/or wild garlic that in various parts of the world are listed as noxious weeds or as "high impact environmental or agricultural" weeds.
Allium tuberosum is currently reported to be found growing wild in scattered locations in the United States. (Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Nebraska, Alabama, Iowa, Arkansas, Nebraska and Wisconsin) However, it is believed to be more widespread in North America because of availability of seeds and seedlings of this species as an exotic herb and because of its high aggressiveness. This species is also widespread across much of mainland Europe.
Allium tuberosum - MHNT
- "Allium tuberosum", World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2012-10-11
- Sprengel, Curt Polycarp Joachim. 1825. Systema Vegetabilium, editio decima sexta 2: 38.
- "The Plant List: A Working List of all Plant Species".
- Norrington-Davies, Tom (8 April 2006). "Spring it on them". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
- McGee, Rose Marie Nichols; Stuckey, Maggie (2002). The Bountiful Container. Workman Publishing.
- Majupuria, Indra (1990). Joys of Nepalese Cooking. S. Puri, Lashkar, India.
- "USDA PLANTS database".
- R.P. Randall. The introduced flora of Australia and its weed status. Australian Weed Management Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia.
- Hilty, John. "Garlic chives". Retrieved 5 December 2012.
- BONAP (Biota of North America Program) floristic synthesis, Allium tuberosum
- Altervista Flora Italiana, Schede di Botanica, Allium tuberosum'
- Evolution, Domestication and Taxonomy of Allium (PDF)
- Allium tuberosum Rottl. ex Spreng. Medicinal Plant Images Database (School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University) (traditional Chinese) (English)