Chive and Egg Stir-fry

stir-fry chive and egg on a plate
An easy recipe to enjoy lots of dark green Chinese chives. Chive and egg stir-fry is a classic appetizer rich in fiber and nutrition.

A bunch of Chinese chives

Chinese chives, rich in fiber and valued as an internal cleansing aid, look more like wild onion weeds rather than the chives growing in your herb garden. I have never tried onion weeds, but I know that Chinese chives are very flavorsome. Raw leafs taste a little garlicky and quite sharp, however once cooked they are very mild with a pleasant sweet after-taste. They are used in Chinese cooking as a vegetable instead of a herb and are consumed in rather large quantities. They make delicious stir-fries as well as fillings for dumplings, buns and stuffed flatbread. The stem and flower of Chinese chive plant are also harvested for making pickles and stir-frying.

This chive and egg stir-fry has to be one of the quickest dishes to prepare, perfect for times when you don’t have time. Until the past twenty years, it wasn’t uncommon to have a visitor turning up at your doorstep at odd hours, without prior notice, wanting a good chat over a drink. Since most Chinese abhorred drinking on an empty stomach, the hostess was obliged to whip up something quick and fresh for the visitor. Chive and egg stir-fry was always the choice. I am sure it has facilitated many good conversations but you certainly don’t have to drink to be able to enjoy this delicious dish.

Chinese chives sections on chopping board

As with stir-frying all green leafy vegetables, use a large wok and high heat so you can cook quickly to preserve color and nutrition. Have everything ready before you start. It all happens in less than 2 minutes.

Preparation: 3 minutes;         Cooking: 2 minutes

  • 250 g Chinese chives, cut into 6 cm long sections
  • 2 eggs, beaten then mix well with 2 tbsp cold water
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp soy sauce or ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 star anise (substitute with a pinch of Chinese five spices or cinnamon)

Heat a wok on high heat, add 1 ½ tbsp oil. Scramble the egg for about 10 seconds and quickly remove from wok while it is still soft.

Add ½ tbsp oil, add star anise (or substitutes), then chives. Stir-fry until chives turn bright green and soft, about 30 seconds. Add soy sauce or salt and quickly stir a few times. Cover the wok, turn off the heat. Let set for 1 minute, stir occasionally. Serve on rice.

chive and egg stir fry in a wok

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