Garlic Chive with Dried Tofu, a Chinese Vegetarian Stir-Fry | Hong Kong Food Blog with Recipes, Cooking Tips mostly of Chinese and Asian styles | Taste Hong Kong

Garlic Chive with Dried Tofu, a Chinese Vegetarian Stir-Fry

Garlic Chive with Dried Tofu, a Simple Chinese Vegetarian Stir-Fry

I notice that I have not cooked garlic chives for a while.

Before the weather started to get warmer, there was always an overwhelming choice of leafy greens in the market. That scene however has gradually changed recently, probably giving us an early notice that the spring is going to end soon.

Bok choy 白菜 and choy sum 菜心, two of my favorite vegetables, are still around. It is just that they do not look as vibrant and handsome as before.

On the day I was shopping for some fresh ingredients for making a quick, meatless meal, the crisp-looking garlic chives stood out among her other veggie relatives, and without a second thought, I brought them home and made this dish, almost in minutes.

Chinese Garlic Chive with Dried Tofu

Cooking garlic chives is pretty straightforward. Sometimes, however, their lower ends maybe a bit fibrous to chew. So, before sectioning them by knife, I’d bent them by fingers and discard those sections that do snap not easily (which means it is not crisp enough).

Like other simple Asian vegetable dishes, garlic chives can be quickly stir-fried on its own. To supplement my meal without meat, I have paired them with sliced dried tofu and coat them lightly with a savory sauce.

  • Ingredients
  • 300g Chinese garlic chive
  • 2 pcs dried tofu (same as the ones for Double Cooked Pork)
  • 1-2 tbsp cooking oil
  • Sauce
  • 2 tsp chili bean paste
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce (or oyster sauce)
  • 1/4 tsp salt or to taste
  • use soy sauce than oyster sauce for vegetarian or vegan style

Chinese Garlic Chive


Wash dried tofu (same ones as here) , pat dry and thinly slice them into about 2mm thick.

Wash garlic chives, drain dry. Bent their lower ends one by one, about half to 1 cm in length. If it does not break easily, bent one more centimeter or two until the end snaps.

Cut chives into 4 to 5 cm sections (you may keep the buds at the upper end, but for stir-frying I’ll usually remove them, which may then be used for making a paste – more or less like herbs).

Mix ingredients for sauce, and set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat. Add the sliced dried tofu and stir-fry for about half to 1 minute. Toss in garlic chives, turn heat to high, and again stir-fry for about half (if you want the chives to be crunchier) to 1 minute. Pour in sauce, keep stir-frying to coat both the tofu and chives evenly.

Dish up, serve hot.

Chinese Garlic Chive


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  1. noobcook

    I really love meatless dishes like this, love the contrasting colours of the garlic chives and tofu.

  2. Stephanie

    I am so jealous that you have garlic chives! I haven’t seen them in the stores here in forever!

  3. Christine's Recipes

    What a coincidence! Just had stir fried garlic chive the day before yesterday. This veggie is so sweet and fragrant.

  4. FiSh

    i love something vegetarian like this, so healthy yet filling for a meal 🙂

    Latest: Mamak or Indian?

  5. 3rensho

    I tried that this noon for lunch. Was great. Used a bit of oyster sauce instead of soy. Ate it with steamed rice (boc fan) and some Korean style bean sprouts (sukjunamul). Great meal.

  6. Daisy@Nevertoosweet

    I didn’t know garlic chives weren’t available all year around 🙂 my sister loves them~ gonna pass this recipe on to her maid 😀

  7. TasteHongKong

    Is great to know that you like this and thanks for sharing your way of enjoying it.

  8. TasteHongKong

    Happy to hear that you’ll pass on this recipe. Enjoy (both you and your sister)! Actually the garlic chives are available in my place most of the time; they caught my sight as many leafy greens sitting side by side with them on that day looked comparatively less attractive.

  9. tigerfish

    I prepared a similar vegetarian stir-fry last week but with leeks replacing the garlic chives. I love it! Whether they are garlic chives or leeks, they are pretty intense and go very well with dried tofu.

  10. Juliana

    Oh! This tofu dish looks delicious especially with chives…like the touch of spiciness 🙂
    Hope you are having a wonderful week!

  11. mycookinghut

    Real classic, I love!

  12. JulieC

    I needed to get an idea of how to cook garlic chives so used this as a guide. Minus the tofu & chili bean paste (didn’t have) and decided to use both soy & oyster…it was very yummy!!

    I will need to try your recipe exactly next time! Thanks so much for posting!

  13. TasteHongKong

    Thanks for telling me your clever way of adaptation. Sometimes I also like simplifying this by frying the chives with garlic only, resulting in a rather garlicky dish. If you like the texture of dried tofu, perhaps you may also want to try something chewy – dried squid, which I have it occasionally. Whichever, enjoy!

  14. JulieC

    I think I’ve eaten the dried squid & chives in restaurants before, very good. But ooh garlic sounds yummy …LOVE garlic..the dried tofu, is that found more in the Korean market?

  15. TasteHongKong

    Well, it seems to me that I haven’t seen dried tofu in Korean stores in my place. You might want to check it out where there are tofu (beancurd) products. Here, we have them in some supermarkets too.

  16. Helena

    Hi ! I just purchased five-spice pressed tofu because I wanted to taste it. I also have garlic chives on hand, so may I use the brown tofu for this recipe instead of the dried one ? Maybe would it need some adjustments with regard to the seasoning. Thanks in advance !

  17. TasteHongKong

    I believe the pressed tofu you mentioned is in the same family of the dried tofu I used in this recipe. If my guess is correct, then yours and mine are the same except that your pressed tofu is flavored with 5-spices powder but with little saltiness. To verify it, try to have a small bite of it. Unless it tastes differently than just described, you may proceed with the same seasonings here.

  18. Helena

    Yes, I think you’re right ! I wasn’t quite sure of it, but your photographs suggest it’s the same. Mine is vacuum-packed, so I haven’t opened it yet. By the way, how long may I store the leftover once opened ?
    I also wanted to add a few words about my last experiments with Ci Fan Tuan and luffa : I paired them for last night’s dinner and both turned out FANTASTIC ! I achieved the rolling up of the rolls almost perfectly, and now that I’ve got young enough luffa, I definitely think it’s at the top of my asian vegetables prize list… I don’t know what it is, but it’s just like the sticky rice rolls : I knew at the first sight at your pictures that I would love them 🙂
    Thanks a lot for sharing and for your helpful answers to my (many) questions !

  19. TasteHongKong

    I usually consume dried tofu (not vacuum packed) the same day I buy them, or, store in fridge for 1 to 2 days more.
    Thanks for updating your achievements on luffa and ci fan (sticky rice rolls), am happy to hear about them.

  20. Tiana

    This was a delicious meal!! I usually have to veganize all of the Chinese dishes I make (which is why I keep a big bottle of “Vegetarian Stir Fry Sauce” in the fridge) and was pleasantly surprised to see that you had mentioned options that we could use. Thanks for that and this recipe!

  21. TasteHongKong

    Enjoy! Apart from stir-fries, there are many other vegetarian dishes I like too.

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