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Love Letter Day X: A recipe
Shungiku were being sold at Maidō! in Ardmore a few months ago, which excited me. I bought a small bunch—I’m gonna say half a pound, bound in a crinkly kraft bag—for like, eight bucks? They’re delicious blanched and dressed in a homemade tahini-goma sauce.
This week I found a giant bag of it at a Chinese grocery for half the price. I tried sniffing it through a tightly knotted plastic bag to confirm it was indeed chrysanthemum greens but bought it without being able to smell anything but the plastic. It seemed like an irresponsible volume until I threw them into the hot water. I could eat this for days.
The trick in bringing out the purity of its flavors is to drown it in sesame seeds. Toast a few tablespoons and grind it into a half cup of tahini, add a splash of water. Mix in sesame seed oil, salt and sugar, maybe rice wine instead if you prefer. A lot of grated ginger and a squeeze of half a lemon.
Toss everything together cold and eat it for the rest of the summer.
Can you just imagine what I will taste like in the Fall?