Glebionis coronaria | Garland Chrysanthemum | Edible Chrysanthemum | Crowndaisy Chrysanthemum | Chop suey green | Crown daisy | Japanese-green
An essential ingredient in winter hot pot dishes such as nabemono and sukiyaki, shungiku is a floral smorgasbord of flavour.
Fresh and with an astringent taste, I can’t imagine a big bowl of nabe without them. They should be very lightly cooked so that they retain their crunchy texture and flavor, so they are added to dishes last. The Chinese call these tong hao and incorporate them in stir fries. They’re also key to many Taiwanese, Korean, and Vietnamese dishes.
Store in a refrigerated humidity-controlled environment.
In the Kitchen
Eat the strongly aromatic leaves and stems as a vegetable. Steam, blanch or boil in a tiny amount of water and serve with a little soy sauce and sesame oil. Don’t over cook as this makes them bitter. In Japan, shungiku leaves are an important ingredient in one pot beef and fish dishes. If they are to be used on their own they are usually dipped briefly into boiling water and then plunged into cold water to maintain the green colour. In Korea, the leaves are used with strongly flavoured fish to neutralise the flavour and in China, they are added to soups and stir-fries. The Vietnamese use the leaves in chicken, pork and beef dishes and fried as a vegetable. Fresh young leaves are high in antioxidents and carotene in particular. They are a piquant ingredient in leafy salads. Flower petals are also edible and in Japan, they are used either fresh or dried in salads, with fish, and in soups and pickles.
Try blanched with a miso tahini dressing.