You must be wondering, what is tong ho? Also known as tong hao, shungiku, or chrysanthemum leaves, it has been a beloved herbaceous plant in Asian cuisines for centuries.

Its distinct flavor adds an extra layer of deliciousness to soups and stews, salads, and stir-fries–it’s no wonder why it continues to be so popular!

In this blog post, delve into the enthralling history behind Tong Ho and its various uses and health benefits.

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salad with chrysanthemum leaves, avocado, carrots and greens. fresh summer salad with edible flowers

What Is Tong Ho?

Tong Ho has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. It was believed to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties and was often used to treat digestive disorders. Tong Ho was also a natural remedy for coughs, colds, and fevers.

Tong Ho has been a beloved culinary component in Chinese kitchens for centuries. Originating from the Fujian province and often used to flavor soups and stews, its popularity gradually spread throughout Asia – with Japan, Korea, and Vietnam embracing this flavorful ingredient in various dishes.

Tong Ho Flavor Profile:

Tong Ho has a unique flavor that is difficult to describe. It is often described as a mix of anise, mint, and grassy notes. The taste can be strong, and using it sparingly in dishes is essential.

Tong Ho lends an added layer of flavor to soups and stews, which makes them more exciting and complex.

The bright flavor of this herb also complements salads, stir-fries, or other dishes that include heavier ingredients.

In Vietnam, it is commonly found in the distinctive herb mix served with classics such as pho for a taste explosion!

gardening holding bunch of shungiku, also known as tong hao, or edible chrysanthemum

Health Benefits of Tong Ho:

Not only does Tong Ho have an unbeatable flavor, but it also offers numerous health benefits. Packed with vitamins A and C, Tong Ho aids in keeping skin healthy while strengthening the immune system. Its antioxidant content guards against cell damage caused by free radicals.

Tong Ho can be a valuable remedy for inflammatory ailments like arthritis and asthma. Its antibacterial and antifungal components may also act as protective barriers against bacterial diseases.

With its extensive therapeutic benefits, this herb is quickly becoming integral to natural medicine worldwide.

The herb Tong Ho is thought to have many digestive benefits, including improving the health of those suffering from diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.

Additionally, it can help stimulate one’s appetite while promoting better digestion in general. This makes it an invaluable herbal remedy employed within Chinese medicine!

teapot with chrysanthemum flower tea. surrounded by tea ingredients and fresh chrysanthemum leaves.

How to Cook Tong Ho?

Tong Ho is relatively easy to prepare and cook. It can be eaten raw, lightly blanched, or sautéed. When designing it, remove any tough stems and wash the leaves carefully.

When adding Tong Ho to a dish, it’s best to add it towards the end of the cooking process so that the leaves do not become mushy. It can be fried in oil until crisp or cooked with garlic and ginger to enhance its flavor.

Tong Ho is a versatile ingredient that can add flavor, texture, and nutrition to any dish. This unique herb can bring life to everyday meals, from soups to stir-fries! Tong Ho is worth a try if you’re looking for an interesting new ingredient in the kitchen.

How to Use Tong Ho?

Tong Ho is a versatile ingredient that can be used in various dishes. It is often used fresh, although it can also be dried and used in teas or infusions. When using the new Tong Ho, washing it thoroughly and removing tough stems or leaves is essential.

Tong Ho can be used in various dishes, from soups and stews to salads and stir-fries. Its flavor is best preserved when added at the end of cooking, but it adds a bright freshness regardless. It is often included in an herbal mix served alongside beloved dishes like pho in Vietnamese cuisine.

chrysanthemum leaves and flowers in a field


Tong Ho has been a unique herb in Asian cuisine and traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. It has a unique flavor profile that can add depth to dishes, as well as a variety of health benefits.

Tong Ho is easy to prepare and use, making it a great addition to any kitchen. Whether you’re looking for its unique flavor or health benefits, Tong Ho will surely be a welcome addition to your culinary repertoire.


Is Tong Ho the same as the chrysanthemum?

Yes, Tong Ho is another name for chrysanthemum leaves.

Where can I buy Tong Ho?

Tong Ho can be found at Asian markets and specialty food stores. It may also be available at farmers’ markets during the growing season.

Can Tong Ho be frozen?

Yes, Tong Ho can be frozen for later use. Wash and dry the leaves thoroughly, then freeze them in a sealed container or freezer bag.

How long does Tong Ho last in the fridge?

Fresh Tong Ho will last for up to a week in the fridge. It can also be dried and stored for up to 6 months.

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