Hogweed Stems in Tempura Batter

This Hogweed Stems in Tempura Batter recipe is a simple and quick way to utilise hogweed stems with ingredients we all most likely have lying around in our cupboards. The batter gives a strong crispy outer edge to the succulent hogweed stems without destroying any of the refreshing flavour.

Find our common hogweed foraging guide here

For 3 people


  • 15 young hogweed stems
  • 50g corn flour
  • 80g plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 250ml soda water

Method for Hogweed Stems in Tempura Batter:

  1. In a large bowl mix the baking powder, corn flour and plain flour together
  2. Make a well in the centre and slowly add the soda water, stirring in between pouring, until it’s all added and you have a smooth batter
  3. Bring some oil up to medium heat in a non-stick pan
  4. Dip the hogweed stems in the batter and fry on both sides until golden brown – about 2-3 minutes on each side
  5. Lightly salt and serve with a nice dip; hummus or wild garlic mayonnaise go nicely.

Find all of our Common Hogweed Recipes right here

Physical Characteristics of Common Hogweed

Hogweed is a herbaceous perennial or biennial plant that can grow from 50-120cms in height. The main stem rises from a large reddish rhizomatous root, it is striated or ribbed, hollow, and has bristly hairs all over.


The leaves can reach a length of 55cms in length, they are very pinnate, hairy, and serrated, they are divided into 3-5 lobed sections, the edges are typically round, unlike giant hogweed which are always extremely pointed.


Hogweed has white to pinkish flowers, displayed in large umbels (umbrella looking) up to 25cms, each containing 15-30 individual flowers, these individual flowers contain 5 petals.


The seeds are winged and flattened contained in pods with rounded edges, up to 1cm long.

Edible Use:

Root: edible, grated, Lacto fermented, alcohol infusions Stem: steamed, chopped in salads, battered, fried, on pizzas and omelets Leaves: soups, dried as a seasoning Fruit/seeds: as cardamom in cakes, cookies, shortbread, chutney, rice, curries, as a celery salt, infused with alcohol.


It’s referenced that the seeds have been used medicinally in the past, being heated in oil and applied to the skin for shingles; also a decoction of the seeds was to be used for aiding a running ear.


When all of the smaller leaves have grown, you often get new shoots appearing halfway up previously growing shafts, they can be found either in or emerging from paper-looking sheaths, these can be used exactly the same as the really young shoots.

Tips and Observations

Personally, I never wear gloves when picking this plant, of course, I don’t purposefully rub the juice on myself but I’ve never had an issue with the juice, if you plan to collect a lot of hogweeds or a little, wearing gloves, maybe marigolds, would be a safe bet, but don’t worry yourself too much.


This is a great distribution map for giant hogweed

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