We like to give chrysanthemums on Mother’s Day, because it naturally blossoms in autumn, and it has ‘mum’ as part of its name. In China, it is a symbol of nobility, and is the official seal of the Emperor of Japan. But did you know they can be used as an ingredient in many Asian dishes as well?
Why not whip up some chrysanthemum dishes for Mum this Mother’s Day, with these great ideas:
This is a nice and simple, relaxing way to begin and end your day. It is said to be good for colds, flus, sore throats, and fever, according to Chinese medicine. Simply steep the flowers in a pot of hot water for several minutes; your tea should range from a pale to bright yellow. You can also add rock sugar to sweeten.
Chrysanthemum Tea - Marc-Anthony Macon, Flickr
Another popular tea is Pu-erh with added chrysanthemum flowers. Pu-erh is a Chinese black tea, and Chinese people believe it to help with digestion. Adding chrysanthemum to pu-erh tea is one of the most common pairings you can get.
You can purchase dried chrysanthemum blossoms at any Chinese grocery store.
Chrysanthemums are often paired with wolfberries, or goji berries, which is a very common ingredient in congee, herbal soups, and desserts in Asia. You can make a deliciously sweet and refreshing jelly with chrysanthemums and wolfberries, by boiling them with either chestnut flour, or agar agar, and then refrigerating them.
Chrysanthemum Jelly with Wolfberries - DayDayCook.com
Chrysanthemum greens are crunchy, sweet, and very good in salads and soups. You’d want to use the leaves and stalks of young greens in salads, and cook the more mature ones; once the greens mature to a certain point, they develop a stronger, more bitter flavour, which is best when cooked.
Chrysanthemum Greens with Sesame Seed Dressing - seriouseats.com
The benefit to having chrysanthemum greens is that it cooks incredibly fast — 30 seconds in boiling water is more than enough to soften them without overcooking into mush. This makes it an excellent ingredient in Chinese hot pot, where you cook food in a communal pot simmering on the centre of the table.
Best of all, you can parboil the greens, let them cool, and drizzle with a light salad dressing for a healthy, tasty side dish.
If Mum loves noodles, she’ll love this delicious soup. It takes less than ten minutes to cook and put together, and makes an excellent lunch or dinner. Roast duck can be purchased at Chinese barbecue shops, or you can make your own, if you’re feeling adventurous.
If you’ve got a family gathering for Mother’s Day, this makes a great appetiser to get everyone ready for dinner. It features raw, young chrysanthemum stalks, which are soft and fragrant. This recipe was created by Hamish Ingram, from Bar H in Sydney, who loves to use chrysanthemum leaves in his recipes.
Image from GourmetTraveller.com.au
“Chrysanthemum is one of my favourite salad leaves. It has such a lovely soft texture with a fragrant, almost celery-like taste, and mixed with the other herbs it makes a fantastic light salad to cut through any rich meat dish.” — Hamish Ingram, Gourmet Traveller.
What will you be cooking for Mum this Mother's Day?