A special variety of chrysanthemum popular for culinary purposes, these leaves come from the plant also known as crown daisy. You’ll find them most often in Japanese, Chinese, and some Korean dishes.
Chrysanthemum leaves are ingredients in many different types of stews, soups, stir fries, and hot pot dishes; popular dishes containing them include shabu shabu or Cantonese da bin lo. One important thing to remember about these leaves, though, is that they have a strong flavor and cook very quickly — because of this, they’re usually one of the last if not the last ingredient added to a hot pot. Otherwise, overcooking causes their texture to get mushy and the flavor to become unpleasant.
Along with being tasty, chrysanthemum leaves are high in many vitamins and minerals, plus are a source of antioxidants. They’re most readily available from spring to autumn. During that time, Uwajimaya’s produce department is the place to find them!