There seems to be no end to how daylilies can be cooked. Essentially any recipe that calls for green vegetables daylilies can be added. Dried daylily flowers seem to be used to thicken soup.

As always it should be stressed that while there is no evidence that Daylilies (Hemerocallis) are poisonous, there seems to be a reaction in some individuals. This mainly manifests itself as gastric distress and may even have some purgative effect. Daylilies should be consumed in moderation until it is clear how one will react.


Edible Flowers: From Garden To Palate 

by Cathy W Barash: 1993

Freezing Daylilies

"Daylilies open in hot water, so if you wish to freeze buds, pick them a day earlier than usual.

Blanch flowers or buds for three minutes in boiling water. Immediately plunge into ice water. Once completely cooled, pat dry and pack into freezer bags.

Daylilies can be kept up to eight months in the freezer, allowing you to enjoy them almost year round."

Sauteed Dayliles

12 daylily flowers

2 chive flowers broken into florets

1/2 teaspoon salt

Put all ingredients into a frying pan. Cover and simmer until just tender and all moisture ins cooked away. Do not overcook. Serve hot as a cooked vegetable. For added richness, toss with butter just before serving.

Serves 2 to 4

Fried Golden Needles

12 daylily flowers

1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water

1 cup all-purpose flour

vegetable oil

Dip each flower in the beaten egg. Roll it in flour. Saute the coated flowers in hot oil until crispy.

This recipe works just as well with frozen daylilies as with fresh. A real treat to have in mid winter.

Serves 2 to 4

Oriental Daylily buds

2 cups daylily buds

1 tablespoon peanut oil

1/4 cup almond slivers

1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce

1 tablespoon water

2 cups cooked brown rice

Steam daylily buds for 10 to 15 minutes, until tender. In a wok or heavy skillet, heat the oil over a high heat until very hot. Add the almond slivers, saute until browned. Quickly remove the almonds from the pan, set aside. Turn heat down to medium. Add grated ginger and let it cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add vinegar, tamari and water. Stir to mix. Toss in daylily buds. Serve over hot rice, topped with sauteed almonds.

Serves 4


Cooking with Flowers—Stir-Fried Lilies with Ham

A great little article discussing yellow daylily flowers as a food. Described as Hemerocallis minor or Grass Leaved Daylily, the flowers are harvested in masses.

"The most popular flower to cook with seems to be the day lily, specifically Hemerocallis minor Mill., known commonly as the Grassleaf Day Lily. These stunning golden flowers (simply called huang hua or “golden flowers” locally), are picked before the buds open but still have a stunning aroma. Stir-fried, they retain some of that aroma, but they also take on a flavor not unlike that of green tea—slightly vegetal but also warm and almost buttery. Local restaurants prepare them simply by blanching them and then stir-frying them for only a few seconds with a few slivers of garlic and some dried chiles, but my favorite version, which comes from a nearby restaurant that serves the foods of the local Yi minority, also incorporates slivers of salty, earthy Yunnan ham."

 "This stunningly beautiful dish was the first thing I ate in Yunnan that used the region’s beautiful flowers as an edible ingredient. It is made with grassleaf day lilies, which have an amazing aroma and a lovely buttery flavor when cooked. (If you make this dish, be sure to ask if the flowers you’re buying are edible so that you don’t get the wrong ones.) If you like, you can make this dish without the ham for a slightly more subtle flavor.

8 oz day lilies (approximately 100 blossoms or two large handfulls)
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 oz Yunnan ham or other earthy, air-cured ham, cut into thin, 1 inch-long batons (if using Yunnan ham, you can soak it in water briefly to remove excess salt)
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly lengthwise
4 dried Thai chiles, cut in half, seeds removed and discarded
1/4 tsp. salt

1. To prepare the lilies, remove any green stems, including the tops of the stems where they connect to the flowers. Then gently open each blossom and remove the stamens. (Some of the stamens’ filaments may remain, and you also may end up pinching off the tips of some of the inner petals, which is fine.)

2. In a wok, bring three cups of water to a boil, and blanch the lilies for 1 minute to soften them. (Their color will deepen slightly.) Drain the flowers and set them aside, discarding the water and heating the wok over a low flame to ensure all the moisture is gone.

3. Heat the vegetable oil in the wok over high heat for about 30 seconds, then add in the ham and stir-fry for approximately 30 seconds, until the meat is mostly cooked (it will lighten in color). Add the garlic and dried chiles to the wok, then add the blanched lilies and sprinkle everything with the salt. Stir-fry for just 10 seconds or so, until all the ingredients are combined and hot. Remove all the ingredients to a serving plate, discarding the excess oil."


Georgia Freedman / March 21, 2013


Piggy's Cooking Journal

Interesting account of visiting a daylily farm in China. A basic recipe is given for soup.

"This is a daylily soup that my mom used to cook often when I was a kid. The softened daylilies are used to tie strips of pork, black fungus, mushrooms, carrots and preserved mustard greens, and the bundles are then cooked in a soup that is flavoured with a large piece of preserved mustard green and white pepper powder."


Daylily Soup Recipe

Dried daylilies, soak for 5 minutes, or until softened
Lean pork
Dried mushrooms, soak until softened
Black fungus, soak until softened
Enoki mushrooms
Preserved mustard greens, for cutting into strips and a second piece (large) to cook in the soup

1) Cut all ingredients (except daylilies, enoki mushrooms and second piece of preserved mustard green) into thin strips of equal length.
2) Lightly marinate the strips of pork with pepper, salt and cornstarch.
3) Take a strip of pork, dried mushroom, black fungus, carrot, preserved mustard green and 2 to 3 strips of enoki mushrooms, tie the bundle with a piece of daylily. Repeat the step until you are done with all the ingredients.
4) In a pot of boiling water, put in the large piece of preserved mustard green, let it boil for 5-7 minutes.
5) Add in daylily bundles and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add a dash of white pepper powder, and if you think that the soup is not salty enough, you can add some salt too.
6) Turn off heat and serve immediately.

Piggy / Friday, 24 September 2010


Daylily Fritters: an Edible Flowers Recipe for Summertime

How to make Daylily bud fritters with step by step instructions a recipe and a video!

"I find that the buds taste like a cross between asparagus and green peas and they’re lovely sauteed in a little garlic and butter. But dip them in a light batter, deep-fry them, and sprinkle a pinch of salt on top and you’ve got yourself a crispy summer treat like no other."


| July 22, 2014


Four Happiness Braised Gluten: Sixi kaofu.

A dish called Four Happiness Braised Gluten: I suspect you'll either love it or hate it!

"Buddhist vegetarian cuisine often calls upon these little marvels to add subtle oomph to dishes like this one, which is called Four Happiness Braised Gluten,and I couldn’t think of a better description.  Everything about this brings a smile to my face: the aroma, the colors, the textures, and of course the taste."  
"Or, if you have some of these fragrant, golden, nocturnal Chinese daylily plants handy (known as Hemerocallis citrina), start harvesting them when the the buds turn from green to gold and then use them fresh, dry them out yourself for the colder months, or even freeze them."


Carolyn Phillips | May 6, 2011