Chinese lily flowers or lily buds are the secret ingredients in Chinese hot and sour soup. The yellow stems are known as dried yellow flower vegetables, golden needles, day lily bulbs, day lilies, and day lily buds. The dried lily buds or lily flowers bring a sweet tea-like aroma and crunch to soups and steamed dishes.
To cook the yellow flower vegetable in hot and sour soup, rinse and soak for 20-30 minutes, slice lengthways, and cut into 1-inch strips before adding to your soup just before serving. Alternatively, soak and tie the long flowers into a knot, and add them towards the end of cooking steamed or stir-fried dishes.