Chives are one of my favourite herbs and they couldn’t be easier to grow. Stick some in a pot or garden and they will reappear each spring without any tending, spreading and becoming more robust each year. The green chive stems can be used in a number of dishes and make a great garnish but their pretty purple blossoms are edible as well.
Chive blossoms can be dipped in a simple tempura batter and fried to make a delicious appetizer with a delicate oniony flavour. Tempura is a method of battering and frying seafood and vegetables that is popular in Japanese restaurants. It sounds exotic but requires nothing more than some pantry basics. Serve with cold beer, sake or sparkling wine.
Tempura Chive Blossoms
Makes 30 to 35 blossoms
- 30 to 35 large chive blossoms with about 1″ of chive stem still attached
- 1 cup ice cold water (in a 2 cup measuring cup, add one cup of ice cubes and one cup of water – measure out 1 cup of water when ready to use)
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt plus extra for finishing
- Oil for frying (preferably a neutral oil such as safflower)
- Chopped chives for garnish
- Lemon wedges (optional)
- In a large bowl, add ice water and egg. Beat until smooth and thoroughly combined.
- Add flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Whisk batter until completely smooth and combined.
- Carefully place chive blossoms in batter and gently stir until blossoms are coated.
- Heat enough oil in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan to measure about 1″ deep. Heat on high heat until it reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit or a small piece of bread can be fried to golden brown in about 10 seconds.
- Carefully place about 10 of the blossoms in the oil, wiping off any excess batter against the edge of the bowl as you lift them out. You can use the stems to handle them.
- Reduce the heat slightly to medium-high and fry the blossoms until golden brown, about two minutes. Use a slotted spoon or spider to remove the blossoms and place on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Repeat with remaining blossoms, working in batches.
- Sprinkle cooked blossoms generously with salt and serve immediately. Garnish with chopped chives and serve with lemon wedges if desired.
Bon Appétit and Enjoy!