Kucai is Indonesian word for "Garlic Chives". There are two (2) varieties/forms of Garlic chives: (1) the cultivated form which is called Allium tuberosum; and (2) wild form which is called A. Ramosun. Kucai is relatively new for the English-speaking world, but said to be well-known in Asian cuisine. Garlic chive taste more like a garlic than a chive, but milder than real garlic. Both leaves and the stalks of the flowers are used as a flavoring similarly to chives, green onions or garlic and are used as a stir fry ingredient. In China, they are often 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. In Vietnam, the leaves of garlic chives are cut up into short pieces and used as the only vegetable in a soup of broth and sliced pork kidneys. I have never seen garlic Chives in the Philippines, but I tasted Garlic Chives the first time here in Germany. I found it in the frozen section of the Asian market where I frequently visit and got curious. At home, I experimented and just dip it in hot water and put a bit of soy sauce, and it worked. It has a lovely taste - garlicky, but milder. I think if I make Arroz Caldo, Kucai (garlic Chives) can be a tasty topping. I am excited to find out, if it is available in the Philippines.

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