Steamed Fern Stems Recipe

This Steamed Fern Stems Recipe uses wild edible fern stems to create this satisfying dish.

| May/June 1971

This Steamed Fern Stems Recipe is made using edible food from the wild.

This Steamed Fern Stems Recipe is made using edible food from the wild.

Photo by Fotolia/Patrik Stedrak

Learn about this Steamed Fern Stems Recipe and how you can use this free wild food in a nutritious, delicious recipe.

Steamed Fern Stems Recipe

The two species of ferns that I depend on for food are the common bracken fern (Pteridium Aquilinum) and cinnamon fern (Osmunda Cinnamona). So far as I know there are no poisonous ferns if the new shoots only are eaten.

Health food enthusiasts would probably rather steam ferns. To do this, pick, wash and strip a bunch of shoots (a good handful or two pounds). Tie the bunch together and place them stalk down in a large pan or double boiler. Add 1 1/2 inches of water and cover the pan and fern tips with another pan. Bring to a boil and hold for about ten minutes or until the stalks are tender. Remove, drain and keep the liquid. Slice the cooked ferns crossways with a sharp knife, place in a bowl and stir in 1/2 cup chopped hickory nuts, 1/3 cup of vegetable oil and the original liquid from cooking the ferns. Return to the fire warm up to a simmer and hold for five minutes. Pour over thin, whole grain, wheat bread toast.

Read more about finding wild edible foods: Foraging for Wild Edible Food.

mother earth news fair


Oct. 21-22, 2017
Topeka, KS.

More than 150 workshops, great deals from more than 200 exhibitors, off-stage demos, inspirational keynotes, and great food!