Chinese Chive Substitutes: Here Are Some Recommended Alternatives You Can Choose

Chives are characterized by their bright green color and unique aroma.

It is an essential ingredient for pancakes and dumplings.

However, there are times when you don’t have chives when you want to make pancakes. That’s what happens sometimes, right?

Oh no! I don’t have chives. What should I do?

Also, some people may not like the unique smell and taste of chives.

If that’s the case, why don’t you try using a substitute for chives?

In this article, I’ll introduce you to some of the recommended substitutes for chives that will help you in your time of need, so please take a look!

16 recommended substitutes for chives

Substitute for chives 1: White onion

White onion

White onions can be used in a variety of dishes such as stir-fries, soups, one-pot dishes, and as a condiment.

Since many recipes use it, many families have it on hand at home.

White onions have a crispy texture and are a great substitute for chives.

It also has a similar aroma, so you can substitute it without feeling uncomfortable!

Substitute for chives 2: Small green onions

Small Green Onions

Small green onions are used as a condiment or garnish for dishes.

It is also called “all-purpose green onion” or “thin green onion” and is thinner than white onion with a long green part.

It is similar to the green part of chives and has a similar crunchy texture and flavor, making it a perfect substitute.

Substitute for chives 3: Komatsuna


Komatsuna is a standard ingredient in stir-fries and boiled vegetables.

Its bright green leaves are similar to chives and can be substituted.

It does not have a bitter taste or unique aroma like chives, so it is recommended for those who do not like the flavor of chives.

The leaves are soft, but the stems are crisp, so if you want a similar texture, you can use the stems as well.

Substitute for chives 4: Green parts of scallions


The green part of scallions is used to take away the smell of meat.

The crispy texture and aroma of green onions are similar to chives, so they can be substituted.

The blue part of the green onion is harder than the white part and is not used in everyday cooking, so some people may throw it away.

However, it is a shame to throw them away because they have to sterilize and warm properties.

If you don’t have chives, please try using the green part of green onions instead.

Substitute for chives 5: Cabbage


Cabbage is a vegetable that can be eaten throughout the year.

The leaves are soft and easy to eat, so even children can easily eat them.

It is a vegetable that looks nothing like chives, but many people use it as a substitute for pancakes and dumplings.

If you don’t like the flavor and texture of chives, we recommend substituting cabbage.

Substitute for chives 6: Green pepper

Green Peppers

Bell peppers are bright green and have a slightly bitter taste.

Because of the similarity in color, it can be used as a substitute for chives.

But if you chop them finely, you can add them to pancakes and dumplings instead of chives.

Substitute for chives 7: Potherb mustard

Potherb Mustard

Potherb mustard is characterized by its freshness and crispness.

It is a vegetable that can be used in many ways, such as nabe dishes and salads.

Potherb mustard has no peculiar taste, so if you don’t like the taste of chives, you may want to try substituting it.

However, since potherb mustard contains a lot of water, it may affect the finish of the dish.

For this reason, it may be better to use a smaller amount or use the leaves with less water.

Substitute for chives 8: Leaf garlic

Leaf Garlic

Leaf garlic is used in dishes such as bean curd and clay pot meat.

It is the young leaf part of garlic before it is fully grown, and has the appearance of chives or green onions.

If you don’t like the texture, taste, or aroma of chives, you can try using leaf garlic instead.

Substitute for chives 9: Garlic shoots

Garlic Shoots

Garlic shoots are used in Chinese stir-fries.

They have a crunchy texture and are similar in flavor to chives.

You can chop them up and use them as a substitute, but we recommend boiling them before use, as they have a bit of a messy taste!

Substitute for chives 10: Broccoli


Broccoli is used as a side dish in lunch boxes, in stir-fries, and as a color in pasta.

It is one of the spring vegetables with a sweet taste and lots of nutrition.

It is a vegetable that does not resemble chives, but you can use broccoli as a substitute for the color.

Since it does not have the pungency and green smell of chives, it is a good substitute for those who do not like the peculiar flavor.

If you want to add it to pancakes or dumplings, cut it into small pieces or preboil it.

If you want to add them to pancakes or dumplings, you can cut them into small pieces or pre-boil them. When you pre-boil them, the green buds become watery, so you may want to wipe off the water well.

Substitute for chives 11: Spinach


Spinach is used for boiled vegetables, stir-fries, and salads.

It’s also known as a nutritious vegetable.

It is similar in color to chives but has a different texture and flavor.

However, if you want the color to resemble chives, you can substitute it.

Spinach has a sour taste, so try boiling it down and using it instead.

Substitute for chives 12: Aojiso


Aojiso is used as a condiment.

When used in place of chives, it has a refreshing flavor.

It is a good substitute for pancakes, dumplings, and other greasy dishes.

Substitute for chives 13: Chinese cabbage

Chinese Cabbage Core

Chinese cabbage is used in hot pot dishes and Chinese rice bowls.

The white core part is crispy and adds an accent to dishes.

It does not have a peculiar taste like chives, so it is a perfect substitute for those who do not like the green smell.

Substitute for chives 14: Onions


Onions are used in a variety of Japanese, Western and Chinese dishes.

It is a vegetable in the same genus as chives, but it does not have the pungent taste or odor of chives.

For this reason, it is recommended for people who do not like the unique flavor of chives.

Also, because of its sweetness, it is easy for even small children to eat.

If you want to substitute a familiar vegetable, please consider it as a candidate.

Substitute for chives 15: Pak choi

Pak Choi

Pak Choi has a unique flavor.

It is an indispensable vegetable in ethnic cuisine.

Since it has a different flavor from chives, it is a recommended substitute when you want to arrange your dishes.

If you like pak choi, you can use it in large quantities.

Substitute for chives 16: Wakegi


Wakegi” looks like chives or green onions.

It is a vegetable used in dishes such as nuta.

The aroma is strong, but the pungency is not as strong as chives, when heated, the sweetness comes out and can be eaten well.


  • For substitutes for chives, the following 16 are recommended. White onion, small green onion, komatsuna, green part of green onion, cabbage, green pepper, potherb mustard, leaf garlic, garlic sprouts, broccoli, spinach, green perilla, Chinese cabbage, onion, pak choi, scallion.
  • White onions have a similar crispy texture and flavor and are a good substitute.
  • Small green onions have a similar color and texture to chives, making them a good substitute.
  • Leafy garlic has a milder pungency and aroma than chives, so it is recommended for those who do not like chives.
  • Aojiso is a good substitute for pancakes and dumplings because of its fresh flavor.
  • The pungent flavor of ginger is similar to that of chives and can be substituted either chopped or grated.