Shungiku with sesame dressing

Shungiku with sesame dressing

Learn how to prepare a delicious and simple Japanese dish using shungiku, or chrysanthemum leaves, by blanching and mixing them with a savory-sweet paste made of ground sesame seeds, sugar, and soy sauce. This versatile ingredient is a key element in Japanese cooking.

Shungiku are leaves of a variety of chrysanthemum and have a distinctive taste that I love. They have many uses in Japanese cooking, this might be the simplest preparation. Nobuko blanched and shocked the leaves (quickly submerged in boiling water until the stems softened and the leaves turned bright green; then transferred to a colander and rinsed under cold running water to stop the cooking), then cut them into bite-sized pieces and set them aside. In a bowl she mixed ground sesame seeds, sugar and soy sauce to make a savory-sweet paste, then added the shungiku and mixed everything together. Another simple, delicious dish.