Asian chives

Buchu 부추

These tender shoots are sold fresh in Korean grocery stores. They have a bit of a garlicky kick and add flavor and color to many dishes in Korean cuisine. Scallions are an acceptable substitute, or the green part of green onions, or even spinach.



Asian chives


Recipes that use asian chives (buchu):



  1. beckaivans joined 10/15
    Posted February 6th, 2016 at 8:57 pm | # |

    Hi! I’m trying to grow my own garlic. As a kid we grew it, and we used the bulb, the greens, and even the flowers in different dishes. Can I use my garlic greens as a substitute for buchu in Korean recipes? I can’t find it anywhere, so I always use green onion, but since buchu is sometimes called garlic chives, I wonder if the taste is similar? Thanks!!!

  2. angelahappydot London joined 3/11
    Posted March 12th, 2013 at 12:20 pm | # |

    can u use green onions instead of buchu? i have lots of green onions and they need to be used soon! let me know please!

  3. Han Su Rii Malaysia joined 10/10
    Posted January 13th, 2011 at 6:01 am | # |

    in my country its called ‘kucai’..i noticed there are 2 kinds of chives here, one with flower and one without flower.

  4. JC Malaysia joined 8/10
    Posted August 20th, 2010 at 3:24 am | # |

    This chives look like Gow Choy (Chinese Chives) or in Malaysia we call it Kucai. The older harvested plant has white color flowers.

    I am going to make Kimchijiggae tomorrow. Just got myself an earthen Korean pot, napa cabbage kimchi, radish kimchi, hot peper flakes and Gochujang paste from a little Korean town (Ampang) within our city. So I am checking Maangchi’s website to find out more recipes so I can have a Korean nite dinner tomorrow.

  5. Maggie
    Posted January 7th, 2010 at 7:19 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    how much chives and green onion should I use for the Kimchi recipe, because you did not specified how much to use on your website, thanks!


    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted January 7th, 2010 at 9:02 pm | # |

      I’m copying and pasting this from my kimchi recipe.
      “Add 7 diagonally-sliced green onions, 2 cups of Asian chives (cut into 2 inches in length), and 2 cups of shredded Korean radish.”

  6. george
    Posted December 25th, 2009 at 8:31 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi, I made a Kim chi following recipe “allegedly” THE ULTIMATE KIMCHI RECIPE. What a dissappointing. It does not look good at all. I`m very happy that I found your site. Being recently with my wife in Seoul we are just `wrapped` in your country, people, history etc. Living in Australia we see obese people, unhealthy just pathetic. On the other hand being in Seoul for 4 days/only/ we saw 5 – five persons overweight. Unbelievable. I love that your demonstration and looking forward to my next Korean cooking experiment George

  7. Bona
    Posted October 9th, 2009 at 3:36 am | # |

    These are available in imphal, manipur, north-east india. It really good with eggs. We also have it with chillies as a salad and also cook it with potato…its yummy

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted October 9th, 2009 at 9:46 am | # |

      Thank you very much! The chive with chilies sounds interesting. Do you have the recipe? If you want, post the recipe here.

    • Joeygal_6 joined 5/11
      Posted May 16th, 2011 at 8:31 pm | # |

      Hi Bona,

      Can you tell me under what name it sells in the north-east? I would like to know all the different names for it in NE. If not, the Manipuri name is just fine.

  8. Thaory
    Posted September 14th, 2009 at 7:53 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi!

    Lol I’ve been asking a lot of questions lately eh?!?!
    Its because I’m going to make korean bbq this weekend and I want everything to be good!

    Okay here’s my question. I saw those chives in asian markes but it has little flowers ont he top. Can I use those? just cut off the flower??

    Thanks youuuu soo much maangchi!

  9. Maricris
    Posted June 21st, 2009 at 3:53 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,i love your blog…It excites me doing a lot in my small kitchen.I lived in your country for a year and i miss the food so bad…Glad to have found you here and taught me as well as the others ’bout Korean foods.I miss Sam Gyeop Sal…Thank you very much!!!

    Always wait for new post and videos….=)

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted June 21st, 2009 at 11:47 am | # |

      Thank you very much! I wish we could have samgyupsal party someday! It will be fun, right? : )

  10. Yaghanen
    Posted May 26th, 2009 at 8:58 am | # |

    Maangchi, your recipes are amazing and they’re helping my marriage! (My hubbie is Korean!). :)

    Just wanted to let your readers know I’ve seen buchu sold as “nira” in some Asian markets in California and Alaska. (“Nira” is the Japanese name for it, also called “nila,” not to be confused with the sweet wafer candy! Ha!).

    Here in Japan we add it to scrambled eggs and eat it with rice. It tastes like garlic but looks like flat-leaved grass.

    We love you, Maanchi!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted May 26th, 2009 at 9:08 am | # |

      oh, yeah? nira!
      Thank you for your good information! I love you, too!!

  11. Ciao
    Posted April 2nd, 2009 at 3:34 am | # |

    hi, in Europe it is often called ‘Asian (Chinese)
    Leeks’..there are Chives as well in markets but they smell and taste totally different from Leeks/Bu-chu :)

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted April 8th, 2009 at 1:51 pm | # |

      What are you going to make with Asian chives? (buchu in Korean). It depends! If you like to make buchu pancake, but buchu is not available, you can replace it with green onions. That’s what I’m doing.

  12. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted October 30th, 2008 at 11:09 pm | # |

    Be careful when you wash buchu. It’s very fragile. Fill up a large bowl with water and rinse your buchu gently about 3 times. Don’t scrub it too hard.

  13. hopish
    Posted October 30th, 2008 at 7:14 pm | # |

    Hey maangchi! Last time I made boochu kimchee, I was washing the boochu for a good hour or two. What is your method on washing the chives? They have so much dirt between the leaves, I have given up making boochu kimchee and I found it much easier to make Paa kimchee. :]

  14. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted September 9th, 2008 at 5:49 am | # |

    Did I say leeks? In Kimchi, I use this: Asian chives (boochoo in Korean). Thank you!

  15. Anonymous
    Posted September 8th, 2008 at 11:51 pm | # |

    is this the ingredient that you call “leeks” in your youtube video when you made the kimchi?
    thank you and more power!! – mike

  16. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted June 9th, 2008 at 7:38 pm | # |

    Hi, Lucy,
    Yes, you can use green onions instead of Asian chives (bu chu).

  17. Anonymous
    Posted June 9th, 2008 at 6:00 pm | # |

    Hi, Maangchi,

    I love your blog! I want to make your kimchi recipe, but I don’t have Asian chives. Will it be OK with just the green onions, garlic, etc. for seasoning? Thanks! –Lucy

  18. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted May 18th, 2008 at 11:32 pm | # |

    Young hee,
    Yes, you can use it. It’s buchu (chinese chives)

    • kristina
      Posted April 8th, 2009 at 10:03 am | # |

      are there any alternatives if there aren’t bu choo around?

  19. Rita (Young Hee)
    Posted May 17th, 2008 at 11:04 am | # |


    I wanted to know if boochu is also called Chinese chives. There are very little Korean grocery markets in Paris so I go to the Chinese markets. I’ve seen something very similar to boochu and it’s called gow choy. Do you know if this is it? Also, maybe some of your readers may know…

    • Reinier Rotterdam, The Netherlands joined 2/09
      Posted November 5th, 2009 at 6:40 am | # |

      From the chinese grocery store it’s called Gow Choy and it’s the same as Buchu, or alternative you can take Gow Choy Fah, that’s with a flower.

      • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
        Posted November 5th, 2009 at 7:25 am | # |

        Thank you Reinier,
        Rita, yes, I sometimes buy buchu at a Chinese grocery store.


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