When shopping at Asian markets, you might see these long, flat, brightly-colored green leaves sold in big bunches. They look like very long blades of grass. Take a whiff and you'll notice a very distinctive smell of garlic. These are nira
, otherwise known as garlic chives and Chinese leek!
Nira are common in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cooking. They are added to dumplings, stir fries, soups, stews, kimchi, and green onion pancakes.
They taste a little bolder than bulb garlic and they have a very good flavor. To use, trim off the root end and the white tips and simply chop up like you would with chives or scallions. Nira make an excellent substitute for scallions in many recipes.
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(Image: Kathryn Hill)