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How to Identify use Garlic Chives Garlic Chive Lemon Marinade

When we moved into our current home, I was delighted to find a few herbs growing in big containers on the patio. I guessed at the names of what was growing in the big pots. One was Basil I recognized that. However, one spiky looking plant had me stumped! What was it? I asked our new landlady (Mrs. Evictus) if they were chives, she said “I have no idea…I don’t cook!”

Left to my own devises, I started a journey for information on this plant. I clipped some; it smelled so good, like garlic. “Oh for joy!” I proclaimed it chives, and promptly threw it into the stroganoff I was making for supper. We ate it… I was worried… (Was that really chives or did I poison my husband?)

That was months ago and he is still alive and kicking, so I know I did not poison him.

I did discover that this beautiful thin leaved, spicy, and fragrant plant is indeed from the chive family. It is Chinese Chives or more commonly known in the USA as Garlic Chives.

Talk about pungent, these chives are very garlicky, even the flowers are powerful and very garlic tasting. You can add these pretty flowers to soups and stews or toss into a salad for added crunch, beauty, and flavor!

Chinese Chives are not common here, so it was not easy finding out what they were. I finally found information on them and was able to view some pictures.

Garlic chives are from the Lily family and put out dainty fragrant white flowers in the late summer. I was not very sure they were Garlic chives until they did flower.

The bees went crazy buzzing, pollinating, and carrying away the sweet smelling pollen. We had more garlic chives than we could ever eat in our lives, last summer. I clipped it clear down to stubs in the late fall and chopped it up, put it in zip lock bags and use it sparingly in our meal, this type of chives is very pungent! Nevertheless, it keeps on adding a fresh, hint, and subtle reminder of last summer to our winter meals!

-Garlic chive and Lemon Marinade


1 cup lemon juice

2 tbsp. fresh garlic chives

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tsp. crushed black pepper

2 tsp. fresh lemon grass

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine well. Use on any meat, fish or poultry that can stand up well under this strong garlic and onion chive. Marinate for at least 2 hours in a covered dish; keep refrigerated.

Garlic chives do not dry well, so it is best to clip them and then chop them into small bits before freezing. Simply lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet, place in your freezer for an hour or two and then remove them and place them in baggies. Seal and store in the freezer.

Try Garlic Chives/Chinese Chives, include them in your herb garden at planting time and I am sure you will love them!