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Is it OK to substitute one for the other?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Chives are an herb, green onions are part of...well an onion. They are often used in similar ways and in similar dishes. You can substitute one for the others in most cases, but I could not say they are interchangeable. They have distinct flavors and it will change the dish to change the ingredient.

Also do not attempt to replace green onion with dried chives (or fresh chives for that matter). Dried chives, not uncommonly found in pre-packaged spice racks, have about as much flavor as straw and will not deliver the desired result (unless you like straw).

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No and Yes. They are different plants, but they are very substitutable (am I making up words?). A quick google of chives vs green onions will provide you with more info than you ever needed.

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Indeed, they are interchangeable. :) –  JustRightMenus Jul 22 '10 at 17:11

They're not the same thing, as they're a different plant, but they're part of the same family. You might be able to substitute the tops of green onions (scallion, spring onion) in place of chives in small quanities.

Chives tend to be smaller and more tender, typically used raw, and only the green portion is used. Green onions often use both the whites and the green part, has a more pronounced flavor, and is used both cooked and raw.

So, if you're going to substitute chives for green onion -- use the greens only, and reduce the amount.

If you're going to go the other way, you'll want to look to see what parts are being used. If it's the whites of the green onion you need, use regular white onion, if it's the greens, then you can try chives, but add them as late as you can in the cooking process, and if it was to be used raw, you might need to increase the amount.

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Chives and green onions are not the same thing.

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