Steamed Hogweed Stems

These steamed Hogweed Stems are a super simple and quick way to utilise your wild foraged hogweeds stems. Often the simple recipes that use little ingredients are the best and this is definitely one of them.

This is the simplest, most delicate and enjoyable ways to eat hogweed stems. It makes a great side dish and can accompany a vast array of meals from fish through to chicken.

Find our common hogweed foraging guide here

2 side dishes

Ingredients for our Steamed Hogweed Stems:

  • 10 hogweed stems
  • 50ml boiling water
  • 50g salted butter


  1. Place the hogweed stems in a large pan with the boiling water, bring to the boil and leave the lid on the pan for 3 minutes.
  2. Add the butter and steam for another minute
  3. Remove the stems, and boil the liquid down, reducing it by half, and pour over the stems
  4. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy this spring delicacy.

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.

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