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.

They dry out and go bad easily, so once I bring them home, I wrap them in a paper towel and then in a plastic bag before refrigerating. Stored that way, they will last a week.


Asian chives

Recipes that use asian chives (buchu):


  1. farahaszar Indonesia, Surabaya joined 8/17 & has 3 comments

    hi Maangchi!
    just to make sure I buy the right thing… is this Buchu?

    See full size image

  2. OhioMu Lancaster, OH joined 1/18 & has 3 comments

    I have much more buchu than I needed to make white kimchi. Is there a way to freeze it so I dont have to throw it away if I cannot use it up before it goes bad? I hate to waste food. Thank you!

  3. beckaivans joined 10/15 & has 21 comments

    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!!!

  4. angelahappydot London joined 3/11 & has 2 comments

    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!

  5. Han Su Rii Malaysia joined 10/10 & has 8 comments

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

  6. JC Malaysia joined 8/10 & has 2 comments

    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.

  7. 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!


  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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!

  11. Maricris& has 1 comment

    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….=)

  12. Yaghanen& has 1 comment

    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!

  13. 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 & has 12,045 comments

      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.

  14. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    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.

  15. 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. :]

  16. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

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

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

  18. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

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

  19. 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

  20. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

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

  21. Maangchi-

    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…

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