Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Knotweed vinegar pickles

Eating at Momofuku really got me hooked on pickles. A whole new layer of flavours. And if you haven't already, buy the Momofuku Cookbook.

So, back to my Polygonum cuspidatum kick.

I used  knotweed stems about three feet tall for these pickles, peeled off the tough outer skin and discarded the joints (Polygonum means jointed). That is not necessary with younger stalks, when the skin is still diaphanous. Beneath that tougher covering is a very juicy, crunchy and tender vegetable...

Japanese knotweed pickles

1 cup of peeled, knotweed stems, cut into 1/4 inch slices or thinner
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp hot chile flakes

Put the knotweed into a small bowl. Dissolve the salt and sugar in the vinegar and water, add the chile. Pour over the sliced knotweed, till it is covered. It will be ready to eat after half an hour - good for topping banh mi, SE Asian style broths and stews, or for rev'ing up a salad. If you're keeping the pickles longer than for immediate use pack them into a sterilized jar or sealable container instead of an open bowl, and keep in the fridge.


  1. Could rev up something from the BBQ as well. I continue to love the fact you're putting knotweed to good use!

  2. Good idea, Rob.

    Funny: My friend in NJ grows knotweed...for ornamental purposes. And that's how the trouble all started! The owner of Raccoon House, next door to us, has it pushing up his concrete. It's amazing stuff. And truly, no hype involved, one of the most useful and yummy ingredients I've used in my cooking life. Versatile.

  3. This is the best knotweed recipe I've found so far. Delicious over top of this recipe:


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