Garland chrysanthemum, also known as Tong Ho (Cantonese), crown daisy, and Shungiku (Japanese), is a type of flowering vegetable or leafy green. The scientific name is Glebionis coronaria and it belongs to the daisy plant family. Crown daisy is also sometimes referred to as chrysanthemum greens, edible chrysanthemum, chop suey green, and Japanese green. It is native to the Mediterranean but widely cultivated across East Asia. Crown daisy is one of the easiest herbs to grow in your garden.
Garland chrysanthemum, or crown daisy, is an edible plant and used in cooking as a leafy vegetable. It is especially popular in Cantonese, Japanese, and Korean cuisines. Garland chrysanthemums grow all across the Mediterranean region, though they are not often used in cooking. The daisy-like flowers can be found lining the roads or overtaking entire fields, with beautiful golden flowers and indented petals. Garland chrysanthemum is healthy and easy to grow, making it a popular Asian vegetable for home gardens.
What does crown daisy taste like?
Garland chrysanthemum is an aromatic leafy vegetable that is often used like a herb. It has a slightly mustardy, pungent flavour, similar to mustard greens but with floral notes and slight bitterness. The overall taste of crown daisy is unique and somewhat strong when compared to other green vegetables.
What is the history of garland chrysanthemum in Asian cooking?
If you’ve ever wondered what those greens are used in some Asian dishes, it could be crown daisy! These leafy flowers are often used to flavour soups, stews, stir-fries, and casseroles in different dishes in China, Japan, and Korea. The wildflowers aren’t native to East Asia, however. Crown daisy was introduced to China during the Song Dynasty between 960 and 1279AD. It quickly became popular as a leafy vegetable and spread across Asia to India and Japan where it also came to be used in various dishes. You will often find garland chrysanthemum for sale in Asian markets – the leaves will often be sold under the name ‘chop suey greens’ or shungiku (the Japanese term).
How can you use crown daisy in cooking?
Garland chrysanthemum can be used in a wide variety of dishes. It is extremely popular as a leafy vegetable in Chinese and Japanese dishes, like chop suey and goma-ae. You can use garland chrysanthemum in stir fries, salads, soups, and stews. Stir fry the crown daisy in sesame oil and add soy sauce, garlic, and sesame seeds or flavouring. You can also add miso and mushrooms. Alternatively, throw garland chrysanthemum in your soups to add a pungent, leafy flavour, or mix it in with your salads.
You can eat garland chrysanthemum raw, however the flavour may be too intense and peppery for most people. Cooking the crown daisy will help reduce the bitterness – however overcooking it will reintroduce the bitterness and also reduce its nutritional profile. Overeating garland chrysanthemum can cause stomach upset for some people.
The health benefits of garland chrysanthemum
Garland chrysanthemum is a highly nutritious leafy vegetable that is used medicinally as well as in cooking. The leaves are rich in carotene, flavonoids, vitamins, chlorogenic acid, and potassium. Amongst the many health benefits of crown daisy are antioxidant protection, reduced risk of lung cancer, and protection against kidney stones, cardiovascular problems, bloating, and bone loss.
Chlorogenic acid, which is found in coffee beans, is also abundant in garland chrysanthemum. This is an excellent nutrient when it comes to weight loss, as it has been shown to slow the release of glucose into the bloodstream. Chlorogenic acid also provides antioxidant protection. Antioxidants are valued for their ability to destroy free radicals and other destructive molecules, while protecting the body from heart ailments, premature ageing, wrinkles, and cancer.
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