Fiddlehead Ferns

If you were looking for something totally different, yet utterly simply and delicious, then you reached the right place.  In-season fiddlehead ferns. But these are available for  a short time, so keep your eyes peeled at your farmers’ market.

I use the Ponzu soy sauce which is a soy sauce with a citric twist. This Japanese sauce is incredible and I believe the inclusion of citrus in the sauce was the result of Dutch influence on the Japanese, a few centuries ago.  A pleasant fruit of cross-talk between diverse cultures.

I dare this rather unusual combination of garlic with the Asian ingredients, but the effect is quite toothsome!

Special tools:



  • 200 gms of fiddlehead ferns, delicately washed
  • 1 tbsp Ponzu soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 crushed pod of garlic
  • little salt


Blanch the washed ferns. A quick and less cumbersome way of doing this is to simply wrap them in moist paper towel and microwave for 1 or 2 minutes, based on your microwave. This process both brightens the greens (see the picture on the right of the cooked ferns) and softens them just right.

Gently heat the sesame oil in a frying pan with the crushed garlic. Be careful not to burn the garlic.  Add the ferns, salt and toss till mixed. Be careful with the salt since your sauce would be salted as well. Add the Ponzu soy sauce and rapidly mix till the ferns are well dressed.  Turn off heat and serve warm.

Notes, hints, tips:
  1. If you don’t  like the garlic bits, the sesame oil can be simply infused with garlic: heat the crushed garlic in the oil and then remove the garlic bits when fragrant and use the oil.
  2. An alternative to the Asian ingredients (sesame oil, Ponzu sauce) is the more classic butter.

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