Skip to main content

Japanese Knotweed Recipes

As you will have seen in my recent article on Japanese Knotweed ( there is a plethora of fantastic and tasty culinary uses for it. I hope this page will inspire you to get creative with this versatile plant. I'll be adding more recipes in due course. **Please note: Japanese Knotweed is classed as highly invasive and failure to dispose of any remnants properly could result in prosecution. If you find yourself with any remnants after prepping it boil them for 10 minutes, leave to dry and then incinerate.

Japanese Knotweed, Sweet Woodruff & Rowan Shoot Tart. 

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry:
250g Plain flour
125g Unsalted butter (cubed)
1 Large Egg
40g Icing sugar
Pinch of fine sea salt

Sieve the flour & icing sugar onto a clean work surface & add the salt. Make a well in the centre, add butter & egg yolks & using your fingers mix together the butter and egg until sticky and combined. Once well mixed, start incorporating the flour & icing sugar until you form a dough, roll into a ball, wrap in cling film and pop in fridge for 30-40 minutes. Remove dough & roll out on a floured surfaced to desired thickness. Place in a tart tin or earthenware tart dish, prick the base with a fork, line with baking parchment, fill with 'baking beans' (not baked beans!!) and blind bake for  approx 10-15 mins at 170 - 180C. Remove the parchment with the baking beans and cook for a further 10 minutes or until golden and cooked through

(* Blind bake is where you line the inside of the pastry bases with grease-proof parchment add dried beans/peas/lentils and part bake).

Creme Patissiere:

200ml milk
50ml double cream
3 free range egg yolks
20g plain flour
Sweet Woodruff
Rowan Shoot Syrup
Japanese Knotweed & Maple Syrup Puree

Place milk, cream, a quantity of dried Sweet Woodruff and Rowan Shoot Syrup in a pan and heat gently until just boiling, remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cool, strain, squeezing out all the lovely flavours from the sweet woodruff material. Whisk egg yolks, flour and sugar in a bowl until fluffy and pale. Reheat the milk and cream gently until steaming and then pour on to the egg, sugar, flour, whisking as you do so. Pour all contents back into pan and heat gently to approx 82 degrees, stirring continuously until the mixture thickens: it's ready when it coats the back of your spoon, be very careful not to overheat or the egg content will scramble. Remove from heat, dust with icing sugar or place a disk of greaseproof paper on top to prevent a skin forming. Once cool, add puree of knotweed, combine well and then pour mix into pastry case. Add candied knotweed pieces and dust with cacao powder (optional).

Japanese Knotweed & Star Anise Jelly: 

1kg Japanese Knotweed Shoots  (leaves removed)
1 Litre Cold Water
50ml Lemon Juice 
800g Sugar (with pectin)

Wash and chop Knotweed. Place in a pan with a small amount of water, bring to a slow boil and simmer until soft (5-10 mins). Pour contents into scalded muslin cloth, tie and leave to drip for approx 2 hours. 
Into a jam pan add the liquid, sugar, lemon juice and 3 star anise, bring to a steady boil ensuring sugar is dissolved and then turn up the heat and boil rapidly until it reaches setting point (you can test for setting point by placing a small amount of the jelly on a cool plate and if a skin begins to form when you blow on it it should be ready). An alternative is to watch the bubbles as it boils, they will become more viscous as excess liquid is evaporated, you will get the hang of it after making jellies a few times, it's all part of the learning curve!. Once setting point has been reached, pour contents into clean, sterilised jars, adding a star anise to each jar, seal and leave to cool. 

Japanese Knotweed & Birch Syrup Puree

This recipe is simple & delicious. You must use the freshest, youngest, most tender parts of the spears. Prepare the knotweed by cutting out the 'knots' - these can be juiced along with any tougher sections you have.
Place the prepared sections into a saucepan, add the juice of half an orange, a touch of water and gently simmer until soft. Once soft add a quantity of either birch or maple syrup to sweeten to your preferred taste. Pour into a food blender and blitz into a smooth puree. Pass this mixture through a fine sieve using the back of a spoon into a clean bowl. 

This puree is gorgeous spooned onto plain or vanilla yoghurt, with a sprinkle of mixed spice and pepperkakor biscuit and crumb (see image)! You can dd a spoonful or two to smoothies. Best of all though is to add this puree to make knotweed, vanilla & lime ice cream or a Knotweed Tart (see recipe at top of page)


Popular posts from this blog


This not so wild, exotic, exuberant flower seems to have made itself quite at home in suburban gardens around the UK.
Aside from it's stunning, colourful appearance, it's edible.

Its flavour is somewhat exotic too, deeply floral and perfumed, with notes of peppery, ginger warmth, bitter chicory and a sort of creaminess to boot.

Magnolia is from an ancient lineage of plants, apparently hanging loose prior to the appearance of bees and it's thought the flowers evolved to be pollinated by beetles. With over 200 species among it's ranks, it has a large ancestry. From what I can gather, all species are edible and I've read/heard nothing to counter this.

The flowers usually develop and open in mid spring (I've mostly gathered them previously in the month May) but the unseasonably warm winter weather, particularly the mercury scorching 20 degree temperatures we experienced toward the end of February (2019), led to an early flowering of this beautiful plant.

The seaso…

Japanese Knotweed: The Terribly Terrific Tasty Terrestrial Triffid

It really is one of those 'love, hate' relationships, depending on which side of the proverbial fence
you find yourself.

Personally, I love Japanese Knotweed. I love it's potential as a diverse food & drink resource, I'll delve deeper into that arena later, and I actually find it to be a striking and handsome plant.

I've read some very interesting academic and scientific literature, both mainstream and non, which raised many a question regarding Japanese Knotweed; how it's perceived professionally, and thus culturally, and how this determines and affects it's subsequent treatment by humans. I heartily recommend the book 'The New Wild' by Fred Pearce - a book all conservationists and environmentalists should read.

Like so many of us, I too was previously led to believe that Fallopia japonica was a botanical nightmare; especially in relation to its negative impacts on our countryside, wildlife and urban dwellings, and eradication seemed the only a…

My First Wild Chaga - Inonotus obliquus

If you ask any forager what their 'favourite first find' is, you may well be amazed at the extent and diversity of the answers you'll receive. Generally speaking, all first time discoveries are special. However, certain instances have extra special status dependant upon personality type and of course the discovery. There are many 'fantastic firsts' that reside deep within my memory;  Horn Of Plenty/Chanterelles/Hedgehog/Wrinkled Peach fungi on the wild atlantic coast of West Scotland (different years), Marsh Samphire/Sea Purslane in Norfolk, Sea Holly in the sand dunes of a secluded beach in Cornwall, Sea Buckthorn, Medlar Trees & Earth Star fungi in inner city Leeds, etc.... the list is long and plenty :0).

Despite never finding or witnessing this reportedly elusive and amazing fungi in the wild for myself, the reality of it's existence and notoriety did come to my attention while on a wild-full-on-foraging-immersed visit to friend and fellow forager, Mar…