China,  Japan,  Recipes,  Starters and Snacks,  Summer,  Vegetarian

Kogomi (Fiddlehead fern)


“Compendium of Materia Medica”: “There are ferns everywhere in the mountains. Buds are born in February and March, and their fists are like children’s fists. The stems are taken when they are tender, boiled in ash soup to remove the saliva, and dried as vegetables. It tastes sweet and smooth, and can also be eaten with vinegar.”

Li Shizhen said: (1518 -1593 – Ming dynasty)

Fiddlehead fern (ostrich fern; Kogomi; Matteuccia struthiopteris; こごみ; 荚果蕨; Pérovník pštrosí) is collected throughout Japan and also in other Asian areas where it is considered a delicacy. It grows in moist areas from spring to early summer and is often eaten as a wild vegetable in Japanese and Chinese cuisine. 
This fern gets its name from its unique resemblance to the feathers of an ostrich, with its long, graceful fronds unfurling in a beautiful, feathery pattern. An elongated shape and a rounded tip characterize it. The leaves are soft and have a youthful structure. The leaves are emerald green and graceful, giving people a pleasant feeling. It is a good foliage plant with a high ornamental value and is very popular among tourists.

The fiddle fern is a delicacy in many kitchens, with its tightly coiled young shoots harvested and enjoyed as a spring delicacy. This fiddle has a mild and slightly nutty taste, bitterness and sweetness that goes well with various dishes. Young fern leaves are boiled in boiling water or fried and eaten as stuffing. Young pod fern leaves can be salted, quickly frozen and kept fresh.

Not only is the ostrich fern delicious, but it also has some surprising health benefits. It is high in fibre and antioxidants, making it a nutritious addition to any meal. It’s also a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as iron and potassium. So not only can you enjoy the taste of this fern, but you can also feel good about its nutritional value.

From the TCM point of view, they can use fern rhizome as a medicine to clear heat, detoxify, cool the blood, stop bleeding and kill insects.

So whether you’re a foodie looking to add a unique ingredient to your recipes, a health-conscious individual seeking nutritious additions to your diet, or simply a nature lover who wants to bring joy and beauty to your landscape, the ostrich fern is the perfect plant for you. Its unique appearance, delicious taste, and surprising health benefits make it a true joy to have in your garden.


The Fiddlehead fern (Pérovník pštrosí) is designated as an endangered species in the Czech Republic.

You will need:

100g fiddlehead fern
3 tbsp soybean flour
2 teaspoons miso
teaspoons sake
teaspoon mirin
teaspoon soy sauce


Cook the fiddlehead fern quickly in hot water. Add soy flour, white miso, beet sugar, sake, mirin and soy sauce to a bowl and mix well. Cut the cooked fiddlehead fern from Step 1 into bite-sized pieces, mix with Step 2 and serve on a plate. Serve with rice bonito flakes or rice.

This post contains affiliate links from which I’ll receive small commissions but the price is the same for you. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *