Branko Kleynen

Not just a Weed

Fermented Knotweed Pickles recipe

On March 25, 2020, after a scavenger hunt for Japanese Knotweed, Branko, Elise and Tommaso joined forces to pickle some shoots.


Fermentation try-out with freshly picked Japanese Knotweed - Filippo Iannone


Brine fermented knotweed is one of the best ways to preserve the young shoots. The recipe below is for roughly 1 qt jar.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Fermentation time: 2 d

Equipment: Quart mason jar


  • 10 oz Young knotweed shoots, peeled, tips discarded preferably thick chubby ones under 1 ft tall
  • 550 grams (scant 2 cups) water
  • 24 grams (2 Tablespoons) Kosher salt 3% salt
  • Seasonings (adjust to your taste)
  • 4-5 sprigs of fresh dill
  • 1-2 fresh garlic cloves I used a ramp bulb
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1-2 small hot chilis or equivalent
  • a couple of strips of lemon zest
  • 1 tsp dried wild Szechuan peppercorns (prickly ash berries)
  • Instructions
  1. Cut the shoots into 3-4 inch pieces
  2. Toss with the remaining ingredients except for the water and salt
  3. Pack into the quart jar
  4. Mix the salt and water until dissolved, then pour over the contents of the jar
  5. Screw on the lid(s) and leave out, opening the jars occasionally to 'burp' them.

    The knotweed pickles will begin to sour in a few days and develop good flavour after only a couple of days in the brine at room temperature. They can be refrigerated, or stored at room temperature.

    To use the pickles, take them out of the jar and cut them into slices, or whatever shape you like. This recipe is an example of how to make a one-quart jar, it can easily be scaled for larger batches and multiple jars.