Garlic Chive Pancakes
A few days ago, while strolling through my yard, I noticed one of my onion chive plants flowering again. Instead of the puffy purple flowers that sway in the breeze in early summer there were white star-like flowers! I quickly realized I was growing garlic chives and didn’t know it! As I looked closer, I began to notice all the subtle and not so subtle characteristics that make the two quite different.
Garlic Chive or Chinese Chive
Garlic chives, unlike her sister the onion chive, have long, flat, grass-like leaves rather than hollow tubular leaves. The leaves can grow between 12-15 inches in length and give way to beautiful cream colored star shaped flowers. Her flowers stand on rather sturdy stems and attract butterflies. She makes for a wonderful addition to herb gardens and borders to backyard paths. Her garlic flavored leaves and flowers make for a delicious culinary herb and are often enjoyed in herbal vinegars, soups, salads, breads, cheeses, and so on. The flowers can be dried for ornamental use as well! Next year I plan on planting a whole bunch more alongside my garden path. My three year old enjoys the garlic taste and nearly ate the entire plant, therefore growing more will be necessary!
Aside from culinary uses, she is said to be beneficial to the digestive system, promote blood circulation, stimulate appetite, and contains some diuretic properties. What a beautiful addition to your spice and medicine cabinet!
I was immediately inspired after seeing the garlic chives being used in Buchujeon. What an amazing looking dish. I’m by no means a chef or of a Korean decent, but I would like to share my rendition on this classic Korean side dish. Savory pancakes are a big part of Korean home cooking and can be made with a variety of ingredients, such as scallions, zucchini, garlic chives, kimchi, potato, and so on. Buchu means garlic chives and jeon means pancake, therefore we’re making garlic chive pancakes! From what I’ve gathered from this fairly simple recipe is that the chive to batter ratio is important! Most of the time we shy away from too much spice and flavor but for this dish, chives outnumber batter. So just when you think you’ve added too many chives, add more.
4 cups garlic chives (add the flowers too if you’d like)
1 ½ cup flour (I used gluten free)
1 cup + 2 T water
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp sugar
Vegetable oil for frying
Clean and cut chives into 2-3 inch strips
Make the batter by whisking the flour, water, egg, salt, and sugar together until smooth
Add chives to a mixing bowl and slowly add batter, making sure the ratio is right! More chives, less batter is key.
Next you’ll want to heat your frying pan on medium high heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil
Add your garlic chive batter to the pan and spread it thin. Using a spatula may help with thinning the batter.
Cook for 2-3 minutes on one side
Flip the pancake, add a tablespoon of oil, and fry for another 2-3 minutes
When they’re finished cut them into smaller pieces to share and enjoy
I used this dipping sauce, but there are plenty of options!
Dipping Sauce Recipe
2 T soy sauce
3T rice wine vinegar
1 T Sriracha sauce
2 t sesame oil
1 T sugar
Add garlic chive flowers, scallions, or sesame seeds (all optional)
Whisk all ingredients together
Garnish and enjoy!