Harvesting fern for the winter at home

To properly prepare a fern for the winter, it is worth considering one feature of the plant: fresh fern is stored for no more than 2-3 days. Then it becomes unusable. That is why workpieces must be carried out quickly.

Fern harvesting at home

At home, the plant can be:

  • salt;
  • marinate;
  • dry;
  • freeze.

Each type of fern harvesting for the winter has its own characteristics. As for the use for food, any option is quite acceptable for the first, second courses and salads.

How to dry a fern for the winter

Dried fern shoots are a convenient option for harvesting for the winter, especially since all useful qualities are preserved. It is worth noting that the selection of raw materials, their preparation must be taken responsibly, otherwise the product will be unsuitable.

Preparation of raw materials

For drying, choose young and fleshy shoots without spots. The length of the petiole should not be more than 20 cm. It is not recommended to dry the raw fern without preliminary preparation, since the finished product will be very bitter. In addition, the raw product is poisonous.

That is why they put a saucepan with a lot of water on the stove, add some salt. The stems are placed in warm water and boiled for no more than 8 minutes. This procedure will remove the bitterness. If boiling does not start at 9 minutes, the pan must still be removed from the heat and the contents removed.

Warning! Longer boiling will lead to softening and stratification of the petioles.

Boiled shoots are laid out in a colander, poured over with cold water to stop the softening process. You can start drying after the water has drained from the petioles. But Koreans and Chinese do not boil the petioles, but simply dip them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes.

Where and how to dry

The drying time will depend on the selected method. This can be done in vivo or using an electric dryer. Each of the methods has its own pros and cons, so the choice will depend on the hostess.

Natural drying

The normal appearance of dried petioles in natural conditions can be obtained in 3-5 days. You can dry in the attic or window. It is important that the room is well ventilated, but the sun's rays should not fall on the workpiece.

Drying is carried out as follows:

  1. Heat-treated petioles are dried and cooled.
  2. Then you need to spread craft paper, linen or fine mesh. Lay out the workpiece on this substrate and place it in a suitable place.
  3. From time to time, the stems are turned over so that drying takes place evenly.

When harvesting a fern, you should not overdry the stems, as this will make them fragile and poorly stored.

Comment! Oilcloth is not used as a substrate for drying, since condensation collects on such a material, which will ultimately spoil the finished product.

Drying in an electric dryer

Modern housewives use an electric dryer to prepare dried ferns. This kitchen equipment allows you to get the product faster than in the air.

Before drying, the stems are boiled, then cooled in a colander or sieve. When the water drains, you need to lay out the workpiece on a special pallet and place it in the dryer. The product is dried at a temperature of 50 degrees for at least 5-6 hours (the time depends on the thickness of the stems).

While the plant is in the dryer, you need to check the condition of the petioles from time to time so as not to dry out. As well as in natural drying, petioles cooked in the dryer are folded in linen bags and hung in a dry and dark, well-ventilated room so that they reach condition.

Definition of the product for readiness

So that the product does not deteriorate during storage with the prepared drying method, you need to pay attention to the following factors:

  • properly harvested stems have a pleasant smell;
  • stems can be light brown or dark brown with a tint of greenery;
  • on the touch - elastic and dry.
Attention! Overdried stems break easily.

How to store dried fern

You can save the prepared petioles in rooms with any humidity, only the method will be different:

  1. In a dry place, where the humidity does not exceed 70%, the stems are folded into fabric bags, cardboard boxes, craft paper bags.
  2. If the humidity is high and there is no other room, the dried fern should be put in glass jars or food grade plastic containers and tightly closed so that no air gets in.
Important! Regardless of the place and method of storage of dried cuttings, you need to check the condition of the product. If the fern is a little damp, it should be dried. Under optimal conditions, dried petioles can be stored for up to 2 years.

What can be made from dried fern

The Japanese, Koreans, Chinese, as well as the inhabitants of the Far East harvest fern in large quantities in various ways, including drying. According to lovers of this plant, dried shoots taste better than salted ones. This product retains useful and taste qualities during storage.

Comment! It is difficult to determine the quality of dried fern by eye, it can only be understood during cooking.

If you have a desire to cook something from dried fern, you must first soak it in water, for 12 hours, changing the liquid several times. Then put it in a colander or sieve, put in boiling water and boil for 1-2 minutes, or just pour boiling water.

This completes the preliminary preparation of the fern, you can start cooking your favorite dishes.

There are a lot of recipes for various dishes with fern. You can make soups with potatoes and vegetables, stew the stalks with beef, chicken and pork. And how many delicious salads you get with fern! Various vegetables, onions, sesame seeds, rice, eggs are added to these dishes.

Is it possible to freeze a fern

A young fern collected by yourself or bought on the market can not only be dried for the winter, but also frozen in the refrigerator, like ordinary greens.

Of course, there are special nuances that you should pay attention to:

  1. At first, for freezing, stems are used that have been kept fresh for no more than 2 days.
  2. Secondly, you cannot thaw and freeze the fern again, it will become unusable.
  3. Thirdly, for freezing, small bags are used, in which the stems are laid out for one cooking.

Fern preparation for freezing

Before sending the stems to the freezer, they need to be specially prepared in order to preserve the quality of the product:

  1. The stems are sorted out, any suspicious ones are removed. Washed in several waters.
  2. Each petiole is cut into 3 parts and boiled for 5 minutes in boiling salted water. It is not recommended to cook for a longer time, since the fern will become very soft, it will begin to exfoliate, and will not be suitable for freezing.
  3. Skim off the foam during the boil.Remove the stems with a slotted spoon on a sieve or in a colander and leave there until all the water has drained so that the stems cool and dry.
Attention! If you need to freeze a large portion of the petioles, then each time they should be boiled in new water.

How to freeze properly

You can prepare a fern for the winter according to different recipes:

  1. Tie the dried stems into small bunches and spread in one layer on a leaf, put in the freezer. When the stems are ready, arrange it into portioned bags or plastic containers.
  2. If you don't have time, you can put the portions straight into plastic bags. It is best to take special freezer bags. After the portion is laid out in the bag, you need to squeeze out the air as much as possible and tie it tightly.

When the workpiece is well frozen, small bags are folded into a container and put into a separate box in the freezer.

It is not recommended to freeze fresh stems because:

  • they are poisonous;
  • will taste bitter;
  • will be slippery after defrosting.

Is it possible to freeze salted fern

Salted stalks of the plant can be purchased at the store, they are sold in plastic containers. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to use all the stems at a time. You can store an open jar in the refrigerator for a short time. Therefore, salted ferns can be frozen. The taste will not change and the salty product will not freeze too much.

How to store and defrost

Frozen plants in a freezer at -18 degrees can be stored for up to 2 years. You do not need to take out the packages unnecessarily.

Before cooking, the petioles are removed from the chamber. If you need to cook the first or second hot dish, then the stems can not be thawed, but immediately put in a saucepan.

For salads, frozen petioles are slightly thawed, then boiled for 1-2 minutes in boiling water. The cooled stems are used for cooking.

Important! Do not re-freeze!

What can be made from frozen fern

From frozen fern, as well as from dried, salted and pickled, you can prepare first, second courses, salads. There are many recipes, they are suitable for any blanks.


Preparing a fern for the winter is easy. Dried and frozen petioles are a great option to diversify the family's diet with tasty and healthy meals.

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