Fiddle heads are the edible uncurled shoots of several fern species. They are found in early Spring in several parts of the world and are eaten in North America, Northern France, India, Indonesia and Japan (to name a few). Fiddleheads can not be cultivated and so remain a true ‘harbinger’ of spring cuisine.


Healthwise, they are high in fibre and rich in vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. They are low in sodium, rich in potassium and the Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids.


Correct washing and cooking is important as the shoots may harbour microbes and possible toxins.

To cook:

  • Remove as much of the brown papery husk as possible, using your fingers.
  • Wash the fiddleheads in several changes of fresh cold water to remove any residual husk or dirt.
  • Cook them in a generous amount of boiling water for 15 minutes or steam them for 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Discard water used for boiling or steaming fiddleheads.
  • Follow these instructions before sautéing, frying, baking or making other foods(e.g. soups, casseroles) using fiddleheads.

information sourced from wikipedia and Health Canada


  1. Lisa the Gourmet Wog

    I’ve never heard of or seen these before! Thanks for showing me something new


    1. dishnthekitchen

      Hi Lisa! I’m not sure where or even if you have them in Australia…maybe very early spring in Queensland or higher elevations or the Blue Mountains. I’m not sure. But you do have some really cool native ingredients to work with in Aus…you should have a go with one of those. I’d love to hear the results!
      Probably the oddest food item that we tried while in WA was witchety grubs, lol. They weren’t that great 🙂

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