Garlic chive & egg parcels, pungent but delicious

I remember when I was little, my house would always smell like garlic chives. If you haven’t smelt garlic chives before, it’s quite pungent. I know many people who can’t stand the smell let alone eat it but I frankly love it. To me, it’s not pungent, rather quite delicious. Mum would always stand there in the kitchen making garlic chive and eggs stir fry, garlic chives pancake or garlic chives dumpling and I would impatiently wait at the dining table, every now and then asking ‘is it done yet mum?’ in a squeaky voice.

That was before mum actually grew her own garlic chives in the tiny patch of soil just under our kitchen window. It’s one of the easiest to grow vegetables, maybe as easy to grow as spring onions or rosemary. The distinction between regular chives which is a lot more known and consumed, garlic chives is flat and more garlicy where regular chives are tubular. They both grow in clumps from bulbs and once they start growing, you basically don’t have to worry about them. Every now and then you’ll need to have them cut and consumed (or given away if you don’t feel like any) to keep the leaves tender and small. Cut them close to the surface of the bulb, leaving just a centimetre left and they will grow by themselves. In fact, they become almost like weeds and grows even when you don’t want them to.

For more garlic chive growing tips, go to this site.

I never really understood why people didn’t like garlic chive dishes. You must give them a chance if you haven’t had them before, they are surprisingly delicious! You can find them in most Asian grocery store in the veggie section.

A few days ago, mum dropped by and gave me a whole bunch of this pungent but delicious ingredient as it was time for a trim, so I decided to make something I don’t usually make – garlic chive and egg parcels (or in Chinese Jiu Cai He Zi (韭菜盒子)). It was the first time I had made them so they didn’t turn out as good as I had hoped.

The recipe I used was adapted from a Chinese website which didn’t do a good job specifying how much dough to how much filling so I had to wing that part. In the end I was left with WAY too much dough so what did I do with it? I made a Nutella peanut pancake with it! It turned out it was even better received by Yuye than the actual parcels. Hmm…

The recipe below has been adjusted to (hopefully) contain a reasonable amount of dough to filling ratio. If you do find you have left overs, just do what I did. :P

Garlic chive and egg parcels – Jiu Cai He Zi (韭菜盒子)
Serves 2

Ingredients

• 140g plain flour
• 80ml warm water
• a small bunch of garlic chives – the ratio between garlic chives, eggs and dried shrimp should be roughly 3:2:1.
• 3 medium eggs
• a handful of dried shrimp skin (these can be purchased from Asian grocery stores). If this is not available, you can also use dried shrimp which is harder and needs to be rehydrated before use.
• 1 tbsp of sesame oil (or more if you like it)
• salt to taste
• For the dipping sauce – vinegar, soy sauce, chilli paste and sesame oil

Instructions

1. Mix the flour with warm water in a large bowl or on a table bench. Knead until the dough is no longer sticky.
2. Set aside in a bowl covered with a damp tea towel to rise for 20 minutes.
3. In the mean time, chop garlic chives into roughly 50mm lengths.
4. Cook eggs in a frying pan like you would scrambled eggs, make sure you don’t add salt while cooking as this tends to brown the eggs.
5. Remove eggs from stove and chop eggs into small bits.
6. Finely chop the dried shrimp.
7. Mix the ingredients together, adding sesame oil and salt to taste.
8. When the dough has risen after 20-30 minutes, remove from the bowl and split into 6 portions. Roll each portion into a ball in your palms, then squash the balls with the ball of your hand. When you roll our the dough in this matter, it will keep the shape more round.
9. Roll out the dough very thinly and then fill each one with the filling. As the chives shrink when cooked, you need to pack in more filling if you want the parcels to look nice and taste good. Mine were not filled enough so they look a bit depleted and tasted doughy. :(
10. Close off the edges firmly so the filling doesn’t fall out.
11. Heat a frying pan with cooking oil on medium heat, and cook these parcels until golden brown. Serve with or without the dipping sauce.

Note: If you don’t want to make your own dough, I have a feeling frozen puff pastry with this filling and then baking it in the oven would also work out great.

Nutella and peanut butter pancake
If you don’t have left over dough but still want to make these pancakes, here’s a recipe from scratch.

Serves 2

Ingredients

• 50g plain flour
• 30ml warm water
• Nutella
• peanut butter

Instructions

1. Mix the plain flour and warm water together as above, knead the dough until no longer sticky.
2. Set aside in a bowl covered with a damp tea towel and rise for 20 minutes.
3. When ready, split into 2 portions, roll each one out into a thin long shape. (I didn’t do a good job in the photo because I accidentally stretched the top when I was transporting it to a different board).
4. Spread with plenty of peanut butter and Nutella, then fold onto itself a few times.
5. Roll it out again with a rolling pin until reasonably thin (roughly 2-3mm).
6. Heat cooking oil in a frying pan and cook the pancake (it’s more like a pizza or something at this stage) until crispy and totally cooked through.
7. Cut into strips and dig in!

I left the plate of these Nutella peanut pancakes with Yuye while I went to clean up the kitchen and after a few minutes, he ran out saying ‘I’m SORRY!’. He had eaten all of them but 1 piece. ‘I couldn’t help myself, they were too delicious’ said he, looking at me with puppy eyes, and I just laughed.

Apparently the garlic chive parcels were fantastic too apart from being a bit too doughy, but the Nutella pancakes I will definitely make again. :)

I wasn’t going to put up this last photo, it’s the failed attempt the result of my first attempt and when I realised I had made the parcels too big, I tipped the filling out and restarted. But the dough was already too soggy to be used and there was too much dough left over anyway so I turned it into a pancake. It didn’t taste very good and it was very hard and dry (because I rolled it out too thick) and so sadly it ended up in the bin.

Question time: Have you ever had garlic chives before and do you like it? And have you ever made a dish only to realise that the side dish or a salvaged off cut turned out to be the hero?

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24 comments… add one

  • Karen (Back Road Journal) June 18, 2012, 4:22 am

    I haven’t had garlic chives that I know of but will look into growing some next year. Your packets and pancake both sound like I would enjoy them.

    Reply
  • Lyana June 18, 2012, 11:58 am

    omgosh I LOVE these! They’re so delicious and fragrant. Never made them myself before but it looks pretty do-able!

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake June 19, 2012, 11:46 pm

      They are totally delicious and fragrant. :) They are quite doable if I can make them so give them a go! :D

      Reply
  • sophia June 18, 2012, 2:06 pm

    Hahaha, coming from a family whose home stinks of kimchi and fermented soybean paste all the time, the pungency of garlic chives is considered tame!

    I have lots of Taiwanese friends, so I’m very familiar with this dish. I love it!

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake June 19, 2012, 11:47 pm

      That’s actually true, compared to a lot of ingredients and spices, garlic chives is nothing. :)

      Reply
  • Hannah June 18, 2012, 4:35 pm

    Pungent foods are awesome in my books (bring on the blue cheese!). However, nothing could compare to the peanut butter version. Oh yes please.

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake June 19, 2012, 11:48 pm

      Hell yes! Bring on the blue cheese indeed. :P I love a lot of pungent food (although I can’t get anywhere near durian still) and YES for the peanut butter pancakes. :D

      Reply
  • Choc Chip Uru June 18, 2012, 4:50 pm

    Pungent fods rock my friend – they give the food character :D
    How delicious!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake June 19, 2012, 11:48 pm

      They definitely have character, for those who don’t like garlic chives (and other pungent foods) they’re missing out!

      Reply
  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella June 18, 2012, 6:38 pm

    I love the smell of garlic chives but usually because it’s a precursor to really good Chinese food. Much like this! :D

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake June 19, 2012, 11:49 pm

      I totally agree! :D When I brought the garlic chives into my boyfriend’s house, he told me to go put it outside. :( But I don’t see him complaining when he was eating these parcels! :)

      Reply
  • Joanne June 18, 2012, 10:48 pm

    I LOVE the smell of garlic chives! So comforting. And I adore these parcels. Bites of heaven.

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake June 19, 2012, 11:50 pm

      I wouldn’t say I LOVE the smell, but I definitely don’t mind it, especially if I get to eat the dish that it forms part of later. :D

      Reply
  • anna June 19, 2012, 1:11 pm

    mmm i had pancakes that looked like your last photo in china, and they were delicious! i am definitely going to experiment with this recipe. i’d love to figure out how to make something like that myself, in pancake or parcel form.

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake June 19, 2012, 11:51 pm

      I eat garlic chive pancakes all the time as well as these parcels and dumplings. They’re just good in everything. :D

      Reply
  • kitchenriffs June 19, 2012, 1:18 pm

    Pungent is good! I should grow them in my garden – they’re delicious. And I really like this recipe. I’m all for making too much dough, too – the Nutella and peanut butter pancake looks awesome! Good post – thanks.

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake June 19, 2012, 11:52 pm

      Thanks! :D I didn’t mind having too much dough, it meant I could have a fast and easy dessert. :) Garlic chives is very easy to grow so you should try it. :)

      Reply
  • Carolyn Jung June 19, 2012, 3:17 pm

    You’ve inspired me to try growing garlic chives now. I’ve long appreciated how easy it is to grow green onions and regular chives. Will have to add this one to my yard for a true trifecta.

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake June 19, 2012, 11:53 pm

      You should definitely try growing them, it’s fantastic in a lot of dishes and so easy to grow. :)

      Reply
  • Rosa June 19, 2012, 6:05 pm

    Delicious food! Those parcels look irresistible and so tasty. I’m drooling…

    The pictures are amazing, as usual!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    Reply
  • Daisy@Nevertoosweet June 25, 2012, 11:44 pm

    OMG OMG OMG! I’m so glad you posted this recipe! I remember having these in Taiwan in March when I went with my parents and it was one of the best ‘parcels’ I’ve had! We had to line up for ages and ages and that little shop only sold 2 items hehe

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake June 26, 2012, 11:31 pm

      They only sold 2 items? They must be so good they didn’t need to make anything else! Mine won’t be anywhere near as good, but it’s a start I guess. :P I always love ordering these when I go to China!

      Reply

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