Hana Herbs and Flowers
P. O. Box 323HanaMaui(808) 248-7407Website
Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi
46-406 Kamehameha HighwayKāneʻoheOahuWebsite


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Edible Fern Shoots (Ho‘i‘o, Warabi, Pako, Pohole)

Of the numerous varieties of ferns whose primeval beauty has graced this planet for millennia, there are a few that are edible. A fern known as Fiddleneck can be found growing in moist temperate and tropical forests all over. Varieties are found in the forests of northern and eastern continental U.S. Oral steroids come spring time and are known as Fiddlehead or bracken.

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In Philippines, it is known as Pako, in Japan – Warabi. In Hawaii we are fortunate to have a tender variety of fiddleneck growing wild in our rain forests. It is know as Pohole on Maui and Ho‘i‘o on Hawaii Island and on Oahu. The fern plant needs clean fresh water, a wet climate, and can grow up to four feet. The young shoots are the only edible part of the plant and are carefully harvested from the plant within a specific period just after the shoots unfurl. The shoots that you will find at farmers’ markets or ordered from purveyors come in bundles, about ten inches long. Delicate in flavor and texture, many experience it as having a flavor similar to asparagus, and a slippery inner texture that can remind one of okra.

The shoots are thought to contain high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, potassium, iron, as well as vitamins B and C.

Prepping and Eating Tips

– Because this is often a foraged or wild-crafted item that grows in fresh water areas, it is recommended that care is taken in its cleaning. Carefully wash before preparing, washing away all fine hairs, silt and other debri. Cut off at least the bottom two inches of the stalk, which will be on the not so tender part.

– Though some old time recipes call for the shoots to be simply washed and chopped, many home cooks and chefs blanch the just washed shoots in boiling water for 30 seconds to a few minutes, then refresh in a cold bath, rendering the shoots tender and a bright green.

Selection and Storage Tips Look for bundles that are vibrant green and free of wilt or darkened spots (sometimes from too Enantato de testosterona much handling or damage).

Shoots are delicate and do not store very well. Use in a few days. Wrap in wet paper towel and plastic bag to keep moist. In earlier days, shoots were wrapped, transported and stored in ti leaf which kept the shoots just moist enough.

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