DSC_0987.JPG

Chinese chive pockets 韭菜盒

Chinese chive pockets are originally from Northern China. They are a bigger sized dumpling and more satisfying, with more filling. They are stuffed with Chinese herbs (chives) and scrambled eggs. I skip the traditional ground pork or dried shrimp, and add more vermicelli for texture, so it can be a vegetarian’s favorite as well. The hot water mixed dough will crisp up nicely after pan frying. Chinese chives, called Jiucai 韭菜 in Chinese, are a very common vegetable on the Chinese table. We pan-fry them with scrammed eggs, shredded meat, and they are also widely used in fillings for dumplings and buns. Chinese chives have long, flat, dark green leaves; not only do they look different from Western chives, they also have a much stronger flavor. Chinese chives traditionally are an herbal remedy to help with the liver, kidneys and digestive track, and even as an antidote for some poisons. We consider Chinese chives to be a ‘hot’ food (I literally feel hot after I eat certain chives). In Chinese history, chives were used as a medicine to promote Yang energy. Mom always told me that chives are good for men. Research has also linked the nutrients in chives to reduced risk for many types of cancer, help with mood, memory, muscle control, eyesight, other brain and nervous system functions, help with sleeping, and bone health. We tend to eat them in spring when chives are tender.