Mystery Ingredient (#1)

Can anybody tell me what this ingredient is? If you can’t see clearly, the leaves are thin and flat (not hollow! hint hint), and taper down to a white, multi-layered base.

Leave your guesses below, and I’ll post the answer tomorrow! These are DELICIOUS by the way, one of my absolute favorite herbs/vegetables (another hint hint).

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About Michael Chen

A contestant on season 3 of FOX's MasterChef! Tune in on June 4 and 5 at 9/8c to watch me compete in the top 100 home cooks in America!
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14 Responses to Mystery Ingredient (#1)

  1. Anonymous says:

    in chinese: jo-chai

    • Michael Chen says:

      Not quite! The Chinese is correct, but chives have hollow leaves and are typically minced fine and used as a garnish.

    • Michael Chen says:

      Although I admit that when I first started trying to describe this ingredient to my non-Chinese friends, that’s one of the things I would say before I found out what it actually was from a farmer at the farmer’s market last weekend!

  2. Gregory Wright says:

    I was gonna say Chinese Garlic Chives, which do have flat leaves, but you gave it a no on chives. And they don’t quite look like ramps…

    • Michael Chen says:

      You’re right! Garlic chives is the correct answer. They differ distinctly from the typical chives you find in the fresh herb section of the supermarket. In fact, I’ve never seen these in any supermarket except Asian ones (usually mislabeled “leeks”). I don’t think they can be substituted in dishes calling for chives though, as their flavor is different (it’s eaten as more of a vegetable). Anyways, more to come tomorrow!

  3. Richard s says:


  4. emily says:

    leeks!!! :D
    do i win?

  5. My boyfriend, who’s Taiwanese, cooks with these all the time. Delicious. You’re very charming, by the way: cute, charismatic, humble, and skilled. And kind of sexy (sorry if that makes you uncomfortable). I hope you do well in the competition, and in everything that follows.

  6. Ha, a few years back my mom planted some garlic chives too close to the fence, and when the grass invaded her garden it became pretty darn difficult to identify chive from lawn grass. My sister complained that her scrambled eggs with “chives” were disgusting!

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