Chinese Garlic Chives Stir Fry with Eggs Recipe

Chinese garlic chives stir fry with eggs in a white bowl

Garlic chives stir fry with eggs is a popular homestyle Chinese dish. It’s a great side dish for a family but would be a hearty and simple vegetarian main dish for 2 people. This recipe easy to make in about 15 minutes and includes an egg-free option.

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Delicious and Hearty Side Dish

Whenever I want to cook with garlic chives, I have to either go out of my way to buy it from an Asian supermarket or I have to harvest them from my backyard. It’s worth the effort because we can never eat too much vegetables. The addition of eggs makes it a hearty side dish.

Collage of stir fried Chinese garlic chives with eggs and homegrown garlic chives before prepping and cooking
This collage highlights my homegrown garlic chives in a washing bowl in the bottom left? See how there’s very little stem? All of it is soft and edible. You can easily pick up pieces of cooked chives and egg, stir gently so that you don’t break up the egg.

What Are Garlic Chives?

Garlic chives is a Chinese herb that can be eaten as a vegetable and highly valued for its nutritional and medicinal properties. 韭菜 is pronounced gau choi in Chinese and there are other names for Garlic Chives in other cuisines.

If you zoom in on my photos of raw garlic chives, notice that they have flat strap leaves that look like grass. Later in the season they will flower, which look like a cluster of tiny white flowers. In fact, the flower buds and immature stems are considered a delicacy which you can read about in my recipe for Stir-Fried Garlic Chive Flowers.

Chinese garlic chives are different from the chives that you can buy at a conventional supermarket. Those chives have tube-like leaves, like a drinking straw similar to scallions, and will produce purple pompom shaped flowers later.

How to Select and Prepare Garlic Chives

I grew up with homegrown garlic chives as a child and still grow them in my yard, so I’m a little bit biased about how they are fresh and delicious. Second to homegrown garlic chives, you can buy them at Asian grocery stores or at a farmer’s market.

Look for bunches of garlic chives that are heavy for their size, which are more likely to be freshly picked. The garlic chives are perfect when they are 8-10 inches tall. I recently bought a bunch that was about 12-14 inches long and needed to trim off the stems. You can save the stems for making vegetable stock.

It’s best to eat garlic chives within 1-2 days of purchase or harvesting. Otherwise the leaves will wilt and turn dark green and, eventually, slimey. You will want to remove any yellow tips or slimey, soft, or dark green leaves. Sometimes dirt becomes lodged in the spot where the leaves meet the stem, so you will want to check and swish the dirt out.

stir fried garlic chives with eggs served in a white bowl
I use a silicone spatula to stir fry this dish because they’re great for stir-frying eggs so that you can get all of it into your pan and move them around.

Easy Stir-Fry

While I preheat my frying pan, I chop the garlic chives into 1 to 1.5 inch pieces. Then while the chives are cooking, I scramble some eggs and pour them in when the chives are about 75% cooked. While I wait for the eggs to set, I grab either some soy sauce or oyster sauce to season. Because this dish is cooked in less than 10 minutes, I usually cook it last, right before dinner is ready so that all the food is as hot as possible.

Allergy Aware Garlic Chives

This recipe is free of peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, sesame, fish, soy, and wheat as written.

If allergic to eggs, you can use an egg-free substitute. To avoid over-cooking the chives, take them out of the pan when they’re 75% cooked, cook the egg-free eggs, and when they’re almost set add the chives back in and cook until both are done.

I like to season this dish with oyster sauce (my favorite seasoning) but if allergic to oysters, you can try seasoning with small amounts (1/2 to 1 teaspoons) of soy sauce or sesame oil or fish sauce or just plain salt. I emphasize “or” because this dish is delicious plain and doesn’t need much seasoning.

Chinese garlic chives stir fry with eggs in a white bowl
5 from 5 votes

Chinese Garlic Chives Stir Fry with Eggs Recipe

Garlic chives stir fry with eggs is a popular homestyle Chinese dish. It's a great side dish for a family but would be a hearty and simple vegetarian main dish for 2 people. This recipe is fast and easy to make in about 15 minutes.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Chinese, Chinese Stir Fry
Keyword garlic chives, garlic chives stir fry, gau choi
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Servings 4
Author Sharon Wong (Nut Free Wok)


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil or other neutral tasting oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • .5 pound garlic chives chopped
  • 4 eggs lightly beatened
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce


  1. Preheat a large non-stick frying pan at medium heat for 4-5 minutes. When the pan is hot enough, add 1 teaspoon olive oil and a sprinkle of 1/8 teaspoon salt, swirl the pan to coat. Add the chopped garlic chives and stirfry for 2-3 minutes until it looks 75% cooked.

  2. Add the lightly beatened egg and use a spatula to stir the chives gently, allow the eggs to cook for 1 minute.

  3. Drizzle the oyster sauce on the eggs. Gently stir fry to coat the garlic chives and egg with sauce. Serve immediately.

Related Recipes:

Baby bok choy

Napa Cabbage:

Fuzzy Melon:

Pea Shoots

  • Another Chinese vegetable that you will want to learn how to make is Pea Shoots with Garlic and Ginger Recipe. A little dish costs $20 at a restaurant because this vegetable can cost up to $10/pound in some stores.


Mung bean sprouts

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About Sharon Wong 275 Articles
Welcome to Nut Free Wok, a blog about Allergy Aware Asian Fare. I hope that you will find my food allergy mom experiences helpful and enjoyable to read as I write about recipes, cooking techniques, Asian ingredients, and food allergy related awareness and advocacy issues. My professional experiences include education, teaching, and a little bit of science and computers. Thank you for visiting! ~Sharon Wong, M.Ed.


  1. 5 stars
    I have lately started using chives in my cooking and was on the lookout for new recipes to try. I love how easy this is and will definitely make this. Since I don’t eat eggs, I will use egg substitute, as you suggested.

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