Beer Battered Fiddleheads Recipe

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While I haven’t been traveling much, this spring it’s been one of my favourites.

I’ve really learned to appreciate Canadian spring and foraging edible plants.

It’s been a lot of fun eating new food like this fiddleheads recipe.

Fresh spring wild fiddleheads close up on wooden board

What are Fiddleheads?

Fiddleheads are the uncurled frond of a fern.

If you leave it they unroll into a fern, if you harvest it young you can eat it – nature is amazing.

The name fiddlehead is because it looks like the end of a fiddle, in French it’s têtes de violon, in Japan it’s warabi and in Hawaii pohole.

Young fiddlehead ferns in the spring are edible, check out this great fiddleheads recipe for beer battered fiddleheads.

Where Do You Find Fiddleheads?

Fiddleheads are available in the spring and most commonly found throughout New England, Eastern regions of Canada but also Hawaii, Indonesia, India, Nepal and Japan.

I’ve been lucky enough to find them foraging, I popped into the forest looking for morels and whileI didn’t find any morels I did find a big patch of fiddleheads.

If you live in an area that has fiddleheads you may find them at a farmer’s market but you have to get there early.

If you’re foraging fiddleheads you should bring a field guide with you as it’s not possible to eat all ferns.

You can eat the Ostrich variety but some toxic varieties look similar.

A good guide will show you the differences including one of the defining aspects of the ostrich fern, which is a celery-like groove along the stem.  

As always in foraging, when in doubt don’t eat it.

Only the small, young fiddleheads are edible so look for some that are 4 inches tall.

You’ll find them in groups of six or more close to the ground with a paper-bag like covering on the coils.

To sustain the population never pick all of the fiddleheads in a bunch or the plant will die, the general guideline for foraging is 25%.

Raw Organic Green Fiddlehead Ferns Ready for Cooking

What do Fiddleheads Taste Like?

It’s a tough flavour to describe, most people say somewhere between asparagus, broccoli and spinach, green beans.

In essence it tastes like a green vegetable.

This beer battered fiddlehead recipe is easy to make and brings out the natural creamy flavor of fiddleheads.

How to Cook Fiddleheads?

Never eat fiddleheads raw.

While there is much debate over their toxicity level if you eat them raw at best you’ll have an upset stomach.

Fiddleheads can be used just like any other green vegetable and so you can look for a fiddleheads recipe or just substitute them in your favourite green recipe.

In Hawaii you can find pohole parboiled with tomatoes, onion and smoked salmon.

In Indonesia it’s found in a coconut sauce with spices. In Nepal it’s common to cook it in clarified butter. It’s really a versatile plant.

When you get home rub off the brown paper-like shell and gently rinse the fiddleheads and pack in paper towel. 

Raw fiddleheads will last in your fridge a week, if you blanch them they’ll only last three days and turn black.

They freeze pretty well but we like to pickle ours, they have a really interesting flavour.

Raw Organic Green Fiddlehead Ferns Ready for Cooking

Why You Should Eat Fiddleheads

Like most greens, fiddleheads are full of antioxidants, Vitamin A and C, niacin iron and fibre; they’re a also a great source of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.

Beer Battered Fiddleheads Recipe with Kimchi Mayo

What I love about this fiddleheads recipe is that deep frying fiddleheads in a beer batter brings out a creamy flavour in this spring plant.

This includes a quick kimchi mayo using the ramp kimchi from last week.

If you don’t have homemade kimchi you could just substitute store bought.

If you still have ramps this batter also works for the battered ramps/wild garlic

This beer battered fiddlehead recipe is easy to make and brings out the natural creamy flavor of fiddleheads.

Beer Battered Fiddleheads

Yield: 1


  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon Salt
  • ⅓ cup cornstarch
  • ⅓ cup rice flour
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose white flour
  • 1 tablespoon Korean chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 355 ml carbonated beer (regular beer not Guinness, something you enjoy drinking)
  • 250 ml ice cold tap water no ice cubes
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup ramp-chi
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar


  1. Dredge fiddleheads in first three ingredients (cornstarch, flour salt) and shake off excess mixture.
  2. For batter whisk together next five ingredients (cornstarch, rice flour, flour, chili powder, kosher salt).
  3. Add in beer and water and whisk to incorporate
  4. Add sesame oil and soy sauce and mix.
  5. Strain through fine mesh strainer
  6. Batter.
  7. Fry at 365F until golden. Serve immediately.
  8. To make kimchi mayo combine mayonnaise, sour cream, kimchi and rice vinegar.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 217Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 1456mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 2g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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 What’s your favourite fiddleheads recipe? Let me know in the comments below!

Join the Conversation

  1. Peter Parker says:


    1. Doc Brunquist says:

      Fiddleheads grow near streams in Alaska and occure mid spring only in very specific locations. These are not to be missed if they are in your area! We compete with the moose and its hard to get there first. Worth the trip though. If you find a patch dont tell your friends as its best to only remove 1-2 heads per plant so they can survive the season. Perenials like these need your protection! Fantastic food!!

  2. Franklin on Food says:

    Sounds tasty; you can’t go wrong with something that’s beer battered, or bacon-wrapped…

  3. Kristy@Family Visa USA says:

    I would love to try this dish at home on my kitchen. It looks delicious that I can’t stop drooling on the computer while reading the ingredients and the cooking instructions!

  4. Yummy!! Thanks

  5. Alana - Paper Planes says:

    I’ve never heard of fiddleheads before – the title made me click to find out!

  6. I have never heard of fiddleheads before, this is new and exciting!

  7. Izy Berry - The Wrong Way Home says:

    Fiddleheads are delicious and very healthy. You can just boil them with salt or if you have more time you can cook amazing Fiddleheads soup with vegetables.

  8. Peter Parker says:

    I tried this at home and it was made wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Mima Isono says:

    It looks so delicious sadly I never see any fiddleheads in here Tokyo.

    Fiddleheads is commonly cooked in western part of Sumatera. I used to cook Fiddleheads with coconut gravy, galangal and lemon grass when I stayed in Indonesia. This recipe makes me miss my home country. I’ll try to make one when I return for short visit to Indonesia.

    Mima Isono
    Tokyo Blogger the Explorer

  10. John Daniel says:

    Yummy, must be great to taste.

  11. These are very popular where I live in Hawaii but I love the fried recipe and a Kimchi Aoili, I really have to try making that, sounds amazing!

  12. Eva Angel says:

    amazing…it is new for me… I have never heard of fiddleheads before thanks for sharing us

  13. A friend of mine is from the Maritimes, and he swears by fiddleheads … I think it is high time to try this delicacy!

  14. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten anything beer battered I didn’t like! This looks quite unusual, but I would love to give it a go!

  15. This recipe look delicious

  16. Christian says:

    Your Fiddlehead recipe looks very delicious. Haven’t heard of this vegetable until this blog came out. Thanks for sharing!

  17. disneyland transfer says:

    Wow, personally I love to see just about anything covered in beer batter. These look very tasty and something that I have never tried. I like to try and force myself to eat more things that are different and not normal where I am from.

  18. Never had the pleasure of enjoying fiddleheads in any type of dish. But this sounds delish! Thanks!

  19. This recipe cooking is very impressive, and it tastes delicious when eating, I would advise everyone to follow its steps, and thank you

  20. For what it’s worth, I ate 5-6 raw just after picking last night. My friend who knew plenty about them did warn me not to eat too many. Ostrich variety. I pickled them with some ramps we foraged half mile away. And for the bonus… while picking the ramps, I stumbled upon a small patch of morrels. Needless to say, it was an excellent 3 hours of foraging. Also grabbed some young burdock for garduni.

  21. Richard P says:

    I am from Canada and I love fiddleheads. Can’t believe all the people who never heard of them. That’s good more for us diehards.

  22. Hello,
    Does anyone know how these would be is I used pickled fiddleheads instead of fresh? Am thinking it would be similar to deep fried pickles. I’m in Southern Ontario where fiddleheads are next to impossible to find, but am working on a business plan where the focus is Canadian food, using iconic foods from each province. If anyone has any feedback on this please let me know.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      You can buy fiddleheads from Forbes Wild Foods in Toronto and the Asian supermarkets like T&T also sell them.

      But absolutely fried pickled fiddle heads would work, just as the fried pickled ramps recipe here.

      But with any deep fried recipe you can lose the nuance of the flavour.

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