Dried Lily Flowers



This Chinese specialty is also referred to as "lily buds", "golden needles," or gum jum. According to Eleanor Nakama-Mitsunaga of the StarBulletin. " they symbolize wealth for the Chinese at the Lunar New Year". The dried lily buds have a fruity, floral scent and are used in a variety of traditional Chinese dishes. The flowers are often paired with black or wood ear fungus in dishes such as jai and hot and sour soup.

Brief History

Although sometimes the flowers are called "tiger lily buds" they are in fact the the bud of the cultivated Day Lily.  The flower has been used in Chinese cuisine for hundreds of years.

The buds are harvested when they are about 3 to 5 inches long and dried.  Once dried the bud color changes to a golden yellow.

Buy And Store

Lily buds (lily flowers) are typically available in cello bags the buds should be gold to medium (not dark) brown.

Lily buds should be stored in an airtight container, refrigerated. The buds will keep indefinitely.

Where To Buy Lily Buds

Look for this product in a well-stocked Asian grocery store, otherwise  you can buy them online at Amazon.com

Prepare Lily Buds For Use Buds must be soaked in warm water for about 30 minutes, then rinsed in fresh water. Cut off any hard stem end and  cut the buds in half. They can be used whole or broken. Traditionally each strand is knotted before use to bring out the flavor.

Dried Lily Flowers Nutrition

1 cup, dried
Calories 35
Total fat (g) 0
Saturated fat (g) 0
Monounsaturated fat (g) 0
Polyunsaturated fat (g) 0
Dietary fiber (g) 4
Protein (g) 1
Carbohydrate (g) 7
Cholesterol (mg) 0

Barbara Bowman graduated with degree in Foods and Nutrition from San Jose State University. As CEO of GourmetSleuth.com she spends most waking hours writing, cooking, eating, gardening and traveling.