Chop Suey Greens / Shungiku

If you are a keen gardener you are likely to come across James Wong. James is famous (notorious?) for introducing unusual vegetables to British gardens and kitchens. One of the plants he recommends is Shungiku, a tall and if you let it flower, quite a cheery Chrysanthemum.

Sow the plants direct in April. Thin to about 30 cms apart. Plants will reach about 1 metre tall and may need staking in windy areas.

In the kitchen:

Young you can use the leafs in salads, older ones as you would spinach spinach. Petals could be used in deserts or salads. It’s taste is not like anything you would be used to eating in the UK, perhaps a little celery crossed with sorrel. It’s worthwhile giving it a go, even if you don’t end up liking it as it is incredibly easy to grow, pretty and pollinators will love the flowers.

Plant heath and yield:

Apparently these plants manufacture a compound which keeps slugs off and the plants were extremely easy to germinate and untouched by slugs, completely trouble free. One 4 ft row is more than enough a meal for two a week.