Japanese Knotweed Bars – Wild Food Recipe

Sweet and Tangy Japanese Knotweed Bars Recipe

From The Forager’s Feast: How to Identify, Gather, and Prepare Wild Edibles, by Leda Meredith

100% of the tanginess in these yummy bars comes from the Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum a.k.a. Fallopia japonica). This is a highly invasive weed (in other words, very successful plant) that is delicious when prepared correctly. Eat the invasives!

Frozen knotweed works just as well as fresh here; just measure it frozen and then let it thaw completely before proceeding with the recipe.

Makes 16 bars

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups peeled and finely chopped Japanese knotweed stalks

3/4 cup brown sugar, divided

4 tablespoons water, divided

4 teaspoons cornstarch

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons butter, melted

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Lightly grease an eight-inch square baking pan with butter or coconut oil.
  2. Combine the chopped knotweed stalks, 1/2 cup of the sugar, three tablespoons of the water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring often, until the knotweed softens and starts to fall apart.
  3. Stir the cornstarch and remaining tablespoon of water together until you have a smooth paste. Stir the cornstarch into the knotweed mixture. Raise the heat to high and cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, flour, salt, and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Add the butter and stir until you’ve got a crumbly but well-combined mixture.
  5. Press half of the oat mixture into the baking pan. Spread all of the knotweed filling over the top. Top that with the rest of the oat mixture.
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Cool completely on a rack, then cut into bars.

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