Chives are incredibly famous herbs that can be found just about everywhere. While they are mostly used as aesthetic properties for food, chives also provide some impressive health benefits.
But, not everyone likes chives. Sometimes, you want something better to line your dish instead. This is especially true if you can’t find chives.
So, what is the best substitute for chives? Scallions are the ideal substitute for chives, especially since both are incredibly similar in color and appearance. You can find scallions everywhere as well, so you don’t have to bother about availability.
An Overview of Chives
Chives are edible herbs that are in the same family as onions, leeks, and others. They’ve been around for hundreds of years, and their cultivation has spread pretty much across the world.
There are still several debates about where chives come from. Some believe it to be the Mediterranean region, while others believe it to be China and other parts of Asia.
Chives come with long, grass-like leaves when they’re freshly cut. They have a bit of a mild flavor, so they don’t affect your dish that much. Many people also love using chives as garnishes for their food, using their color to improve dishes’ aesthetic quality. Since their flavors are completely mild, chives are quite appropriate for just about anything.
Why Replace Chives?
- Pregnancy: Some sources claim that chives aren’t so healthy for pregnant women and nursing mothers.
- Reactions: Some people who take chives could also suffer from stomach upsets. Since you don’t want that, you’ll need to get a substitute instead.
Options for Chives’ Replacements
Best Overall Substitute for Chives: Scallions
Also known as spring onions, scallions are an impressive substitute for chives on all fronts. They are green, so they look like chives and will provide that same aesthetic quality. If you love eating greens, you’ll love scallions just as much as you love chives. They work well for garnishing dishes, and they add a bit of a healthy component as well. So, you’re not missing anything.
While scallions have wider stalks than chives, you don’t have to worry much about this. They have the same aroma and taste as chives, and they offer a mild onion flavor that won’t do much to overshadow the entire meal. But, you want to be careful with scallions. While they have mild flavors, they are also stronger than chives.
So, it is recommended that you don’t use the same quantity of scallions as you would use chives. Instead, reduce the scallion quantity a bit.
As expected, you could always start small and adjust the recipe as you see fit. Even better, you could add the scallions earlier in your cooking.
Scallions can be used in the same way as chives. You can use them for toppings and garnishes, and rest assured that you’ll get nothing but the desired result.
Best Substitute for Potato Meals: Baerlauch
Also known as wild garlic, baerlauch is another substitute that you want to have in your dishes. Known for its wide stalk as well, baerlauch is especially appropriate when you’re trying to harness the garlicky taste of chives and make it more prominent.
Baerlauch looks more like tarragon than chives. It is usually allowed to grow in wild forests, and it is an especially great fresh herb if you’re looking to make mashed potatoes or salads. The herb also looks like chives, so it works well as an aesthetic replacement or a garnish for dishes.
But, you want to note that baerlauch doesn’t have the same onion taste signature that you get with chives. So, if you want a bit of an onion-themed undertone, you won’t get that with this herb.
If you’re looking to achieve the best results, cut the baerlauch into really thin slices and use it as a garnish for dishes. It makes your meal look better, and it can help to improve its taste mildly.
Also, you should note that you can use normal garlic as a substitute for chives as well. All you have to do is cut out some of the green stalks of the garlic that grow out of the main bulb. Called garlic scapes, these stalks have the same garlicky taste of chives. Since they’re long and thin, they also work well as aesthetic components of dishes.
Best Available Substitutes: Leeks
Leeks are another member of the same family as chives. As expected, their stalks are wider than those of chives. But, leeks are especially prominent for their sharp and prominent flavor. This makes it easy for leeks to overshadow your meal with its flavor.
But, there is a way to cut this flavor dominance. Most culinary experts will recommend that you soak the leeks in cold water for at least an hour before you use them in your cooking. Soaking will help make the taste milder and make the leeks more appropriate for your cooking.
Since leeks have wider stalks, you will need to chop them into smaller pieces so they are just the right size for garnishing.
You should also note that there are Chinese leeks – essentially, a variety of leeks that are similar to the original herb. If you don’t want to deal with the strong flavor base of original leeks, Chinese leeks are the perfect option. They are milder, so you won’t need to soak them. With their long and thin stalks, Chinese leeks are great for garnishing. But, they aren’t readily available – at least not as much as the original leeks.