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, I learned watching a cook in Japan. She 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.