SINGAPORE - Leeks are an allium and are related to onions and scallions. In fact, they look a lot like a giant scallion.
The vegetable is great in stews, where it adds sweetness to the sauce and helps to bulk up the gravy, and in soups. You can also stir-fry it with pork or prawns, or serve it with pasta. Think of it as a milder, more subtle type of onion.
Leeks are also popular over Chinese New Year because leek, or "shuan", sounds like the Mandarin word for "count", a term which connotes wealth and prosperity.
The darker green, top parts of the leek, are bitter. But you can use them in your stock pot, so do not throw these bits away.
In this video, I show you an easy way to wash leeks - place the chopped leeks into a bowl of water and swish them around. All the soil and sediment will sink to the bottom. Scoop out the leeks with a strainer or slotted spoon.