Tung Ho (Chrysanthemum coronarium)

Tung ho

Otherwise known as…

Chrysanthemum greens, garland chrysanthemum, chop suey greens, shungiku

General information

Tung ho is a true chrysanthemum, similar to the varieties commonly grown as ornamental garden plants.  Although chrysanthemums originated in the Mediterranean, it is only in Asia that they are used as a vegetable.  Edible chrysanthemums are particularly popular in Japan and China.

The appearance of Tung ho varies widely; some cultivars have deeply lobed leaves while others are more oval and rosette. All are bright green annual plants.  The leaves are usually picked while the plants are small and tender.  Alternatively, they are left to mature and flower, as the flowers themselves can also be eaten.

Cooking tips

Tung ho is highly aromatic and basically tastes rather like it smells.  It has a pleasant, succulent texture but can be bitter, especially if overcooked.  It is best lightly steamed or stir fried with other ingredients, preferably not ones with strong flavours which will conflict with the Tung ho.  Keep for up to two days in the fridge wrapped in plastic.