KUTSAY or garlic chives is a perennial plant that grows in clumps just like the lilies. The leaves are dark green and flat, unlike the onion chives which are hollow inside. The taste is very much like the garlic but milder. It flower every season and the flowers are white. The bees and butterflies love them. It is quite beautiful actually. The Chinese consider the buds or unfurled flowers as a delicacy. It is fairly easy to grow, just needs constant watering and it will stay in the garden for a long time. Just clip the leaves when you need and divide the clumps every 3-4 years to invigorate them. You can plant them together with the ornamentals in your garden as a border plant.

Most Asian countries love these greens. The Chinese use it for their dumplings. I actually like the dim-sum called chive dim-sum and the spinach dim-sum at Chinatown. Japanese call it “Nira” and they use it together with eggs. Koreans use it in their Kimchee recipes and mandoo which is also a type of dumpling. Vietnamese use it as the main green vegetable in their soups.

I do not remember how we use it when I was young but I am sure my mom would have lots of stories about this green chives we call Kutsay.