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Rakkyo Negi onions are bulbs with green shoots that resemble garlic. The bulbs grow to around 1.9 centimeters in diameter, and have a cream-colored inner and outer skin. It has a crisp texture and bite, and a flavor akin to onion, with notes of garlic and cabbage. The bright green shoots are chive-like, and grow to 60 centimeters in length. The plant grows in dense clumps, and produces pink flowers in the summer months.
Rakkyo Negi onions are available in the summer months.
Rakkyo Negi onion is botanically classified as Allium chinense. It belongs to the Amaryllidaceae family, which also includes garlic, onions, shallots and leeks. They are also known as Chinese onions and Chinese scallions. Rakkyo Negi onions are valued for the bulbs, which are used in Japanese cuisine, and are often pickled. They are a common vegetable in Asia, but are not often seen in other parts of the world.
Rakkyo Negi onions are a rich source of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. They also contain fructan, which helps to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease; selenium, which has anti-cancer effects; and saponin.
Rakkyo Negi onions may be used as a topping for dishes like miso soup. They may also be served with sushi, which helps to balance any saltiness. Rakkyo Negi onions are most often steeped in brine before being marinated in vinegar, sake and sugar. This is then used as a pickle. Rakkyo Negi onions in a bag in the refrigerator, where they may be good for several weeks.
The bulbs of Rakkyo Negi onions are said to be good for heart problems, headaches and tumors. In Vietnam, where they are known as Cu Kieu, they are a traditional side dish served particularly during new year festivities.
Rakkyo Negi onions are native to China and India, and can also be found in Korea and Japan. These onions have been used for over 2,000 years in traditional Chinese medicine, and are cultivated in the provinces of Jiangxi, Yunnan, Hubei and Zhejiang. Rakkyo Negi onions have also been cultivated in Japan since the 9th century, and since then, numerous varieties have been developed.