Food Find: Chive Flower (Garlic Chives) – Where to find and how to cook

Chive flower
Chive flower

Recently I went exploring — to the Fresh World International Supermarket just down the road in Herndon, Virginia. There I discovered what they call chive flower!  A day or two later we were having dinner at our new favorite Chinese Restaurant, China Wok in Tysons Corner, and on the menu was Fish Fillet with Chive Flower. So I asked them if they could give me a side dish of just chive flower (to go with the Peking duck I ordered). Soon they set a plate of sautéed chive flower in front of me. It was fabulous! To me, tasted slightly crunchy and sweet and a bit garlicky — not strong like chives.

Here’s how to make Sautéed Chive Flower (basic recipe is courtesy of the chef at China Wok).

Sautéed Chive Flower
Sautéed Chive Flower


1 bunch chive flower
1 tablespoon avocado oil (mild flavor and good for high heat cooking)
2 – 3 garlic cloves, chopped (or chopped and frozen — see Food Prep Tip below)
Sea salt, to taste

Cut off 1-2 inches from the stem end and discard (or use in stock). Cut the remainder into 1 – 1 1/2 inch pieces.

Chive flower cut into pieces
Chive flower cut into pieces

Heat a wok (or a large sauté pan), and when wok/pan is warm, add the oil.

When oil is hot, add the chive flower (all except for the flowering tips which you will add later) and toss.

Add the chopped garlic to the chive flower in the pan and toss.

Note: If the garlic is frozen (as suggested in Food Prep Tip below), it will defrost as you toss it with the chive flower. Or, you can let the small amount of garlic you plan to use defrost before you use it. (I would not defrost the entire package of chopped garlic.)

Sauté the chive flower and garlic (keep tossing) for about 2 minutes.

Add the reserved chive flower tips (the pieces with the flowers) and continue to sauté (toss) for another 30 seconds.

Add salt to taste.

Now you have the delicious dish I was served at the restaurant!

Or if you want to do something a bit different, try mixing the sautéed chive flower with some preserved lemon purée. Yum!



Chopped garlic -- freeze in the bag it came in
Chopped garlic — freeze in the bag it came in

At China Wok, they thinly slice the garlic and then add it to the oil and then add the chive flower, but I don’t do it that way.

I use chopped garlic which i always have on hand. I take a bag of peeled organic garlic (such as you see in photo) and chop the entire continents of the bag in the food processor (fitted with metal blade). Then I put the chopped garlic back into the ziplock bag it came in, pressing the garlic into a thin layer. Then I put the bag that’s now full of chopped garlic into my freezer. Later when I need chopped garlic, I just grab the bag with chopped garlic out of the freezer and break off the amount I need! 🙂

And one more thing. It’s important! Wait 15 minutes after chopping garlic before freezing or cooking with it. Why? To allow the chopped garlic itself to create an anti-cancer compound! If you cook with garlic before you have given it time to create that compound, you won’t get the anti-cancer benefits of garlic! So just wait before you put the chopped garlic into the freezer. And because you already waited these 15 minutes, when you cook with your frozen chopped garlic, you will get the anti-cancer benefits!

LEARN MORE about Chive Flower aka Garlic Chives
Basic facts (not sure if nutrition facts come from reputable source, but until I find a better reference, this will have to do.)
Recipe with pork

Enjoy and be healthy!
~ Leni


4 thoughts on “Food Find: Chive Flower (Garlic Chives) – Where to find and how to cook

  1. Hi Leni, Thanks for all your latest info, including the advice on treating garlic. Unfortunately my way with garlic destroys all the cancer fighting properties, I’m sure. To ease peeling, I zap the unpeeled cloves for 15 sec. in the microwave, then proceed to slice and add to the cooking pot or pan. Maybe the quantity of garlic I use helps make up for my abuse of the cloves. So far, Bill and I have had to deal with only in situ and non aggressive cancers. Let’s hope the trend continues. Thanks, Bonnie

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