Chinese Chive Boxes at the Harmony Restaurant in Ottawa
These Chinese Chive stuffed dumplings that you sometimes find on Dim Sum menus, have long been known as ‘Chinese Chive Boxes’ because that is the most common way of translating their Chinese name, 韭菜盒子 (Jiǔcài hézi). The version at the Harmony Restaurant in Ottawa’s Chinatown varied very slightly from the most common form, but was still very tasty and satisfying.
Chinese Chive Boxes are a pan-fried ‘turnover’ style dumpling with Chinese Chives, scrambled Egg, and Cellophane Noodles being standard ingredients being the most common filling. The dough is essentially a simple Wheat Flour dough, and essentially along the same lines as my Basic Dumpling Wrapper Dough. The dough can be made with either hot, or cold water, according to the cook’s preference, and a little oil is sometimes included in the blend.
The Chinese Chive Boxes at the Harmony Restaurant lacked the cellophane noodles that are often included in the filling, but, quite honestly, I pretty much regard this as a tasteless ‘filler’ ingredient, and I didn’t miss it at all. The Chinese Chives were the real deal (and not scallions, or regular Chives, which can sometimes be substituted), and they had the lovely, slightly garlicky taste of the proper ingredient. There was only a little egg included but, again, that suited me fine.
The Dough wrapper were rolled out to a good thickness, that is to say, thin enough to be chewy but not doughy, and they were pan-fried very nicely. They weren’t especially pretty, compared to others I have seen, but they had that nice, crispy browning that adds extra flavor and, all in all, I found these really tasty and filling.