“BOXES” OF CHINESE GARLIC CHIVE
Chive Pockets, Chive Cakes, and Chive Pie are a few of the English names for this classic Northern Chinese dessert. Jiucai hezi, or “Chive Boxes,” is the Chinese term for them. For the sake of clarity, we’ll name them that.
We were both surprised to learn that several Northern Chinese families claim to have developed the best Chinese Garlic Chive Box recipe (whose family is Cantonese).
Ground pork and shrimp mince are popular additions to the stuffing. Others like chop cooked glass noodles and added them to the mix. Five-spice powder or Sichuan peppercorn powder are popular seasonings for chive boxes. Oyster sauce can also be used as a filler in some dishes.
You’ll need to use chives that aren’t found in your local supermarket for this dish. Chinese garlic chives, which have thicker, meatier stems and a garlicky flavor, are actually what you’re looking at here.
It’s impossible to make a mistake with any of these items. However, my Chinese Garlic Chive Box recipe is simple and fundamental because I’m a fan of vanilla ice cream and plain, old-fashioned doughnuts. As far as artistic expression is concerned, the sky is the limit. The cooking time will be longer if you add ground pork or shrimp to your stuffing.
- 5 eggs
- 1 tbsp. of Shaoxing wine
- 1 tsp. of salt (divided)
- 3 tsp. of sesame oil (divided)
- 8 tbsp. of vegetable oil (divided)
- ⅓ to ½ cup of dried mini shrimp
- 1 lb. of Chinese garlic chives
- ½ tsp. of sugar
- ½ tsp. of white pepper
- 1 pack of frozen spring roll wrappers
- 1 tsp. of cornstarch (dissolved in 1 tablespoon water)
- Mix 5 eggs with 1 tbsp. Shaoxing wine, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. sesame oil in a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a big wok or frying pan, heat the oil to a high temperature. At this point, add 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the wok’s surface to keep it from sticking. A rapid circular motion for 15-20 seconds should do the trick. Put an end to the cooking process after the eggs have begun to firm. Using a spatula, break any large chunks of egg into smaller pieces while cooking in the wok. Cool the eggs before serving.
- Put 2 more tablespoons of vegetable oil in a wok and cook the dried shrimp until crisp-tender—Cook for a few more minutes, or until they’re just beginning to turn golden brown. Allow the food to cool before serving.
- With a clean kitchen towel, blot the garlic chives dry. Slice the chives into 1/4-inch pieces with a mandolin. Pour 2 tablespoons of sesame oil and 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds, and toss to coat the mixture. Add the chives, cooked dried shrimp, and cooked eggs to the bowl and toss to coat. Mix it all together thoroughly. If required, taste and re-season the dish.
- Take two spring roll wrappers and fold them into “boxes” (in a double layer, one on top of the other). Fold the box half to form a package, then top with a generous 1/4 cup of the filling. Using a little dab of cornstarch slurry, seal the boxes and lay them on a plate, or try them with the seam side down. Repeat this process for each of your chive boxes.
- A medium frying pan and copious amounts of olive oil are all you need to prepare them. Cover the frying pan with a lid for 2-3 minutes on each side and cook the chive boxes. For the last minute or two of cooking, remove the cover and crisp up each side until the outside is golden brown and crispy. If you’re using ground beef or shrimp in your filling, fry the chive boxes in multiple batches and allow more time for them to cook overall.
- Serve immediately.