Flowering chive (韭菜花) is also known as Thai chive flower, garlic chive flower or chive flower buds. This vegetable has a very strong smell and some people think it’s utterly stinky. Even though it really smells, it tastes really delicious in dishes. It’s very popular in China, Taiwan, Thailand and other Asian countries.
In Chinese cuisine, people make all kinds of different and delicious stir-fry dishes with this vegetable. When I was really young, I travelled around China with my parents. We took a train from Xian to Guangzhou and on the train the chef cooked this dish and made all of the passengers on the train literally drool from the smell of this dish.
I personally stir-frying with pork, beef, chicken and sliced bean curd but this is dish that can be easily adjusted to make it either vegetarian or vegan. You can use more bean curd and flower chive but leave out the meat and it will still taste delicious.
You can also add other vegetables like mung bean sprouts, mange tout and different coloured peppers to accompany this dish. This is entirely up to you.
How to prepare flowering chive?
- Trim the bottom part of the flowering chive and cut into 3cm long sections. The bottom part of the flowering chive can be quite woody and tough in both texture and taste.
- Wash it with cold running water. I will soak it in water for 15 minutes then drain the water. It’s then ready to cook.
Because this is a stir-fry dish, I would recommend you to have a look at an article I wrote for about.com “ Chinese Stir-Fry Tips”, especially if you’re not too familiar with the this cooking methods.
This dish is a great “weeknight dinner” or “life saver recipe for the working mum” as this dish is packed with nutrition, it’s very easy to make and it’s quick to make as well.
If you marinade the beef the day before, when you come home all you need to do is cook some rice, wash and slice vegetables and cook it. This dish will be ready within 15 minutes and it’s also delicious!!
For the seasonings, I won’t put any extra seasonings into this dish. The reason is all the beef marinade sauce and the chili bean sauce will be strong enough. Chili bean sauce is quite salty hence not needing extra seasonings but if you want it to taste stronger by all means add to the seasonings.
- 280g/10 ounces lean beef (julienne)
- 140g/5 ounces flowering chive (sliced into 3 cm lengthways)
- 180g/6 3/8 ounces bean curd
- 1 chili (seeds removed and finely chopped)
- 1 clove of garlic (minced)
- For the Beef Marinade:
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon demerara sugar (or caster sugar)
- 1/2 tablespoon potato starch (or corn flour)
- 1 tablespoon rice wine (or Shaoxing rice wine)
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon sauce (Doubanjiang)
- Salt to taste
- Marinade the beef for at least 15 minutes.
- Heat up 1-2 tablespoons oil in a wok and stir-fry garlic and chili first until the aroma comes out.
- Add chili bean sauce into the wok and stir-fry for 20 seconds.
- Add beef into step 3 and stir-fry for another 30 seconds.
- Add Thai Chive Flower and stir-fry for 10 seconds then add bean curd.
- If it’s too dry then you can add a little bit of water, check the seasonings and ready to serve.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Marinade time: 15 minutes
Served 4 people