Củ Kiệu (Allium chinense, or Vietnamese scallion) has been used mainly as a spice or a side dish in Vietnamese cuisine since ancient times. Alternatively, Củ kiệu also has medicinal uses. The heat properties of the herb can help with indigestions.
As the legend goes, Hung king went on a hunt one day. He got hungry and wanted to eat. When the maids set out to find some vegetables, one found a nice smelling herb. She then put it into the cooking pot along with the food. The kingreally liked the smell and taste of the herb. Thus, since the maid’s name was Kiệu, he named it after her.
With its mild and “fresh” taste, Kiệu is often pickled and served in Vietnam during Tết.
Commonly in South Vietnam, it is consumed as a side dish to go along with Bánh Chưng or Bánh Tét. It lessens the fatty and sticky textures of the cakes, adding a little bit of mildly sweet, sour, and sometimes spicy tastes to the dishes. When combined, those dishes really make a wonderful meal with all the festivities going on.