Quick Braised Hogweed Shoots

I no longer recommend this plant be served to the public.

This plant is not for beginners. Never eat raw. Always wear gloves when gathering.

Please read these important Safety Notes.

Young, furled hogweed shoots (Heracleum sphondylium) are the queen of wild vegetables. Gourmet doesn’t even come close to describe them. If you place asparagus up there on an 8-10 ‘taste blooming awesome’ scale. This braised hogweed shoots recipe nudges in at an acceptable 12-14, making asparagus taste mediocre!

Buttery, scented, divinely delicious and downright more-ish, you could be forgiven if you became a hogweed shoot addict.

So what do they taste like? God I hate that question! Go try them yourself. Go on. Drag your butt off the sofa and pull your head out of the screen, and trot off into the wild to explore and play. It’s waaaay more healthy that being glued to your lightbox.

OK, rant over…

Make sure that you pick your hogweed shoots at the correct stage (see the picture below). I have had numerous reports of folk having odd reactions to them. Some quite serious, so if you suffer from any type of food allergy (especially celery, as they are in the same family; Apiaceae) I would give them a miss, or at the very least conduct a personal tolerance test. See my Tolerance Test for more details.

Braised Hogweed Shoots Recipe
Make sure that your hogweed shoots are not unfurled anymore than in this photo.

I know, life can be sooo unfair, but we just have to deal with reality. On my courses I continually state “Wild plants are not monocultured plants”. There is a massive difference!

There are numerous ponderings on why these adverse reactions occur, but suffice to say that we are all bio-individuals, and wild plants effect different folk in different ways.

WARNING: Hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium) is part of the Carrot family and as such you must be 500% certain that you have identified this plant correctly. You must also gather it with gloves on as the sap can burn you. This is completely destroyed by cooking.

Do NOT eat this plant raw! Definitely not a plant for novice foragers to start playing around with. Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum), is highly poisonous, and even brushing against it can give some people very serious burns.

Not everyone can eat this plant – some people experience severe reactions to it – You MUST conduct a safety tolerance test, before ever eating this plant. I don’t care what other foragers say. My advise comes from over 10 years of working with Hogweed.

Read my article: Foraging Safety Guidelines For Eating Wild Edible Plants.

Braised Hogweed Shoots Recipe Ingredients

  • 100g hogweed shoots
  • 25g butter
  • 1tsp veg bouillon powder
  • 100ml water

Braised Hogweed Shoots Recipe Instructions

  1. Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the hogweed shoots, then bring back to the boil and remove immediately and strain.
  2. Melt the butter in a frying pan, fry hogweed shoots for 2 minutes.
  3. Dissolve the stock powder in the 100ml of boiling water and add to the frying pan. Put lid on, and slowly simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Take the lid off and reduce the liquid by simmering for an additional 5 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately.


  1. Hi picked some Hogweed shoots today and prepared them as you said. we are not a fan. i expected a slightly more critical reaction from my partner and son but i too felt they had a tangy bitter taste. what could i have been doing wrong
    ? i love your guides an dthey have inspired me to cook with nettles, chickweed and Wild Garlic. Thankyou !

  2. Hi real foragers meal tonight nettle soup with croutons champignon mushrooms fried in butter and braised common hogweed all picked this afternoon.First time for the unfurled hogweed very tasty I’ll let you know if any adverse reactions but so far so good.

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