Chrysanthemum leaves

We’re in the middle of cherry blossom season, and my Heart of Zen Cuisine cookbook says we’re supposed to be eating chrysanthemum leaves now??

The recipe is easy. Spelling chrysanthemum is hard.


Chrysanthemum Leaves [Shungiku no Ohitashi/春菊のおひたし]

  • 1/4 pound (115 grams) chrysanthemum leaves, washed and hard stem ends removed

For the citron-soy sauce:

  • 4 parts soy sauce
  • 1 part yuzu or lemon juice
  • 1/8 sheet nori seaweed, cut into fine shreds with scissors

1. Parboil the leaves: bring an ample amount of lightly salted water to a boil, hold the chrysanthemum by leafy tops and plunge any thick stems into the boiling water for about 30 seconds, depending on the thickness.

2. Drop entire sprigs in the water and parboil for 1 minute or so. Rinse in cold water, drain, and gently squeeze out moisture.

3. Cut the chrysanthemum into 1¼-inch (3-cm) lengths. Serve at room temperature in mounds in 4 small dishes. Top each mound with 1 teaspoon of the citron-soy sauce and garnish with a pinch of the nori shreds.

Keeps no more than 3 hours. (Ahhh, just as fleeting as the cherry blossoms!)

One Response

  1. […] Japanese emperor’s birthday is December 23. Would it be anti-imperial to eat chrysanthemum leaves in his […]


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