Garlic chives, (AKA; Chinese chives, Oriental garlic, Chinese leek) are quite different than common chives. Garlic chives blooms in the fall with white flowers and have flat leaves tasting like garlic. Chives bloom in the spring with purple flowers and have round leaves tasting more like onions.
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. It grows in slowly expanding perennial clumps, but also readily sprouts from seed.
Both leaves and the stalks of the flowers are used as a flavoring in a similar way to chives, green onions or garlic and are often used as a stir fry ingredient. In China, they are 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.
Site: Garlic Chives prefer a sunny location in a rich, moist, well-drained soil. They are also quite forgiving of adverse conditions.
Growing: Plant seeds spaced about 1-2 inches apart in a 24X24 inch area about 3/4 inch deep in early spring. Water the plants regularly especially during dry spells. Garlic chives generally like moist (but not soggy) soil. During their first season, hold down watering to encourage root growth. If your herb plant seems to be getting woody, prune all down to about an inch above the soil level to let new growth begin. Garlic chives tends to go dormant in climates with harsh winters. It is wise to re-divide one's garlic chives every few years, to maintain plant vigor.
Harvesting: Garlic chives should to be harvested often. You can treat it like ordinary chives, pinching off any flower buds that appear, or you can let it flower in the autumn, as the buds and flowers are as edible as the leaves. The leaves are flat shaped rather than tube shaped like regular chives but are cut the same to within an inch of soil level.
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Drain the tofu, cut into cubes and mash. Wash and prepare the vegetables. Combine the tofu with the remainder of the ingredients and seasonings.
Lay out one of the gyoza wrappers in front of you. Dip your finger in the water and moisten the edges of the wrapper.
Place a heaping teaspoon of filling in the middle of the wrapper.
Fold the gyoza wrapper over the filling and pinch the edges to seal it shut. (You may want to use a cornstarch/water mixture to make this easier).
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet or wok.When oil is ready, carefully add the dumplings and cook on high heat until golden brown (about 1 minute). Without turning the dumplings over, add 1/2 cup of water and cover. Cook for about 1 minute to cook the raw filling and then uncover and continue cooking until most of the liquid is absorbed.
Serve the potstickers with the burnt side on top, with potsticker dipping sauce or soy sauce mixed with minced ginger for dipping.
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