Steamed Fiddlehead Ferns

Fiddlehead Fern
MmeEmil / Getty Images
  • Total: 15 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Yield: Makes 4 Servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
186 Calories
0g Fat
35g Carbs
10g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: Makes 4 Servings
Amount per serving
Calories 186
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 80mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Protein 10g
Calcium 12mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Lightly steaming fiddlehead ferns lets them keep just a bit of crispness while also bringing out their fresh, grassy flavor. This is a time to use high-quality, fresh butter since it has its own clean, spring flavor to compliment the steamed fiddleheads.

Note: A serving of lightly cooked fiddleheads is fine for most people, but too many of them can cause some digestive trouble for those with sensitive stomachs and some authorities recommend only eating fully cooked fiddleheads.


  • 1 pound fiddlehead ferns
  • Garnish: butter
  • Fine sea salt (to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Trim and rinse fiddleheads, removing any brown ends or mushy parts.

  2. In a large pot, bring 1 inch water to a boil. Put fiddleheads in a steamer basket or insert and place above boiling water. Cover and cook until fiddleheads are tender but still faintly crisp, about 5 minutes.

  3. Drain and serve hot with butter, salt, and pepper to taste.