Five Spiced Chive Pockets

A salty and classic appetizer often enjoyed at restaurants, this Chive Pockets recipe features five spiced tofu as a special ingredient, as well as instructions for preparing these enjoyable pockets using either an air fryer or stove-top method. 

Chive pockets or pie is a type of pocket pie originating from Shandong, China, and is traditionally eaten during festivals or to celebrate the Chinese New Year [1][2]. The filling can consist of either chives alone or a combination of chives with meat. The most common version found at restaurants is meatless, typically containing chives, eggs, and vermicelli.

About the ingredients for Chive Pockets

  • Dried five-spiced tofu – This savory, firm tofu holds its shape well without crumbling, and adds a flavorful dimension to the chive pockets, similarly to its role in our kimchi rice.
  • Flour – Typically, all-purpose flour is used; I use a 50/50 mix of all-purpose flour and carbalose flour (a low-carb alternative).
  • Eggs – Large-size eggs are recommended, but substituting with liquid egg whites is another option.
  • Hot water – Crucial for ensuring a pliable dough that is easier to handle.
  • Chives – A range of 130-170g chives is fine or to taste.
  • Dried shrimp (optional) – Lends a umami richness and a touch of saltiness to the chive pockets. To prepare the dried shrimp, mince by hand or perform a quick pulse in a coffee grinder.
  • Mung bean vermicelli noodles – Usually packaged as little, convenient bundles weighing from 46-50g.
  • Sichuan peppercorn powder – Provides a mild zing but without overwhelming spiciness. White pepper is also a suitable substitute.

How to pleat the chive pockets

Though crimping the chive pockets' edges is not necessary, if desired, you can follow the instructions below to do so.

Method 1:
  1. Fold one side over to create a semi-circle. Press the edges together firmly to seal. Use a fork to make indentations along the sealed edge, similar to making ravioli.
  2. Aim to keep the sealed edge small for better taste. Be mindful that the edges may separate slightly as the pockets expand while pan-frying.

Method 2:
  1. Fold one side over to create a semi-circle. Press the edges together firmly to seal.
  2. Starting at one end of the semi-circle pocket, grip the edge between your index finger and thumb, with the finger on top and thumb underneath.
  3. Twist so that the thumb is on top; and the finger is on the bottom.
  4. Release your finger from between the fold. Pinch the edge between your thumb and third finger to create a small flap.
  5. Hold the pinched flap between your index finger and thumb (finger on top, thumb on bottom).
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 around the entire edge of the pocket.
  7. Adjust the 2 corners so they appear symmetrical. If the pocket looks lopsided after pleating, gently shape it into a neat semi-circle.

Storage Tips for Chive Pockets

Uncooked pockets

Line a flat container or tray with parchment paper and arrange the uncooked pockets in a single layer without overlapping. Once frozen, transfer the pockets to a freezer-safe storage bag and store in the freezer. When ready to cook, pan-fry the frozen pockets as you would freshly made ones.

Cooked pockets

Allow the cooked chive pockets to cool completely, then place in a freezer-safe storage bag and store in the freezer. Once frozen, separate them to prevent sticking and discard any freezer burn icicles before re-sealing the bag and returning to the freezer. To reheat, microwave a single pocket for 60-80 seconds, adjusting the time based on the pocket size.

Serves: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes – Cooking Time: 5 minutes/batch – Total Time: 10 minutes

Helpful equipment

  • Rolling pin
  • Mixing bowl


For the flour:
  • 2 1/3 cups flour (160 grams)
  • 1 cup hot water (add 1-2 tbsp. water if necessary)
  • 1 teaspoon oil

For the filling:
  • 140 g chives minced
  • 2 tablespoons dried shrimp grinded or minced (optional)
  • 3 oz five spiced dry tofu diced
  • 1 bundle mung bean (cellophane) vermicelli noodles (46g)
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp Sichuan peppercorn powder
  • 1 tbsp oil for air frying or stove top


Make the dough:

Step 1
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, warm water and 1 teaspoon oil. Knead for 5 minutes, incorporating all dough, until it forms a smooth ball of dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it relax for 20 minutes.

Make the filling:

Step 2
Follow the instructions on your mung bean noodles package to rehydrate them. Typically, this involves covering the noodles with boiled water for 5 minutes, then draining and rinsing them under cold water before dicing. 

Step 3
Beat the eggs thoroughly. Heat a skillet over medium-low heat, add oil, and scramble the eggs. Remove and let cool before dicing the egg.

Step 4
In a separate bowl, combine chives, ground dried shrimp, five spiced tofu, diced mung bean vermicelli, diced egg, salt, and Sichuan peppercorn powder.

Assemble the chive pockets:

Step 5
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Pinch off 1" balls or roll into a 1" wide log and cut into 1" wide pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and then flatten into small discs.

Step 6
Roll each dough disc out into a circle about 4-5 inches in diameter.

Step 7
Place ¼ cup filling in the center of each dough circle. Bring one side up over the filling to create a semi-circle. Align, pinch, and seal the edges together.

Cook the chive pockets (2 ways):

Step 9
If using an air fryer, lightly baste both sides of the chive pockets with oil. Lay them on the air fryer rack. Air fry at 350F for 8-10 minutes, flipping after 4 minutes and flipping again after 4 minutes. Cook in multiple batches as needed

Step 10
If using a stove, warm a skillet over medium heat with oil. Add chive pockets, cover, and cook until the bottoms develop golden-brown spots, about 5-10 minutes. Flip and repeat for the other side. The dough's internal temperature should reach around 190F before removing. Repeat for multiple batches.


  • Initially, the dough may seem dry, but it does come together well. Add a tablespoon of hot water at a time if you are struggling to form a ball.
  • Keeping the chive pocket pleats small not only reduces excess flour but also enhances their overall taste. While crimping the edges of the chive pockets is not necessary, if desired, you can follow the instructions above after completing step 7.
  • Chive pockets expand during cooking, thereby stretching the dough. Be careful not to overstuff the pockets and tightly seal them to prevent bursting.
  • As a personal preference, I like to roll the skins thin so they feel crispier after cooking. 

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