Stir-Fried Nettles, Chinese Style
Foraged stinging nettles must be collected with care — gloves and long sleeves are a must — as they will sting bare skin before they are cooked. Once cooked, however, the sting vanishes and they are flavorful and highly nutritious. To learn more, watch the episode of Outside & In with The Cook’s Cook in which host Denise Landis learns from certified forager and educator Rachel Goclawski how to identify and forage for stinging nettles. This easy recipe for stir-fried nettles tossed with noodles is one of Rachel’s everyday favorites.
- 1 large pot (about 7.5 liters/2 gallons, loosely packed) of stinging nettles, well-washed*
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) vegetable oil
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) finely chopped garlic
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) light soy sauce
- 2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) sugar
- 2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) Asian-style sesame oil
- 2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) sesame seeds
- Cooked noodles (rice, buckwheat, or any of your choice), for serving
*Nettles will sting skin when they are uncooked, so handle raw nettles with rubber gloves and, if possible, tongs.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While wearing rubber gloves, and preferably using tongs, place the nettles in the pot and boil until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and allow nettles to cool enough to touch (they will no longer have any sting). Remove leaves from the stems and discard the stems. Chop into bite-sized pieces.
2. Place a skillet over low heat. Add vegetable oil and garlic, stirring until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add nettles and stir for 1 minute. Add soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil. Mix quickly just until mixture is heated, about 1 minute. Add noodles, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve.