Sunday, May 1, 2011

Japanese Knotweed Recipe - Knotweed Jelly

Japanese knotweed Jelly served over yogurt
This recipe took a few tries to get correct, and we are very happy with the final product. One characteristic of the knotweed is that it is not very juicy. Usually when you make jelly, you are using a fruit juice. This is made with more of a knotweed infusion. Through trial and error, I found that I needed to start with a lot of water and even more chopped knotweed than you would think to end up with enough "juice" for the jelly recipe. The color is surprisingly pink, we were expecting green.

Japanese Knotweed Jelly    makes 6- 8oz. jars

4 c. water
8 c. chopped Japanese knotweed stalks, leaves removed

1. Add the water and the chopped knotweed stalks to a large pot. Bring the water up to a boil, and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool, then hang the stewed knotweed in a jelly bag or in cheesecloth, and allow it to drip for an hour or two. You need to end up with 3 1/4 c. knotweed juice.

3 1/4 c. knotweed juice
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 box Sure-Jell powdered pectin (1.75 oz.)
4 c. sugar

2. Put the knotweed juice, lemon juice, and pectin into a large pot. Bring it up to a rolling boil.
3. Add all the sugar at once. Bring it back up to a rolling boil, and boil 1 minute while stirring constantly.
4. Remove from the heat and ladle it into hot, sterilized jars, cover. Process in a water bath for 10 minutes, cool.


Ellen Zachos said...

Does it taste lemon-y? I'm going to try your recipe this weekend.

The 3 foragers said...

Knotweed really has it's own taste, but I'll give this a try. There is a tartness that can pucker your lips, almost like green apples. These is also a green, vegetal flavor, but that does not come through in the jelly. There is a fruitiness, too.

Anonymous said...

I just discovered that the huge stand of "fake bamboo" on the far side of my neighbour's house is actually knotweed. I picked some young shoots today and made itadori tea...beautiful pink colour and lemony in taste. I can't wait to give your jelly recipe a try.

Anne said...

Are you making this with shoots or adult stalks? Thanks!

The 3 Foragers said...

We use the stalks that are about 8"-12" tall to make jelly. If you let them grow too high, there is more string and less flesh, and you really want the flavor of the flesh. I suppose shoots would work too, since they are even more tender than 8" stalks. Good luck! Let us know how t works out for you, Karen

Pete Hope said...

Oh wow, I've not seen anything like this made with japanese knotweed before, I might have to give

Janet Pesaturo said...

In my experience, the flavor and color of the juice depends on age of stalk. Less than 3 ft tall young stalks produce pink juice while older stalks produce greenish, blander juice.

Liberation Supper Club said...

What do you think about using a vegetable juicer instead of boiling the knotweed? I'm excited to try this recipe, using fresh-pressed knotweed juice! I may need a few more cups of shoots, but could probably skip shaving the peels off. Thoughts?

The 3 Foragers said...

We have never juiced raw knotweed, but I imagine the results would be green, mucilaginous, and cloudy. Who knows? We never imagined that by cooking it lightly, the resulting juice would be pink, so give it a try.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I've made this jelly 4-5 times and it's a favorite at my house. Thank you for sharing it! I apologize if this is a dumb question. I don't know a lot about making jelly so I follow directions exactly. Is it possible to back off of the sugar with this jelly?

The 3 Foragers said...

No idea on lower-sugar recipes. We just post what we make, sugar and all.

Dave Lenweaver said...

I'll have tor try this. We have a mess of it down the road a bit. Low sugar recipe could be made with Pomona's Pectin but you'll have to play with the recipe to get the proportions down.


Anonymous said...

When you trim the leaves off of the stalks do you get that white, white milky stuff? It sticks to the leaves and stalks. Can you eat it? I want to ferment it like a kraut, but I don't know about the white milk stuff! It would be my luck that it will make me sick.

Anybody know?

Anonymous said...


Ferment it with smashed up leaves and stems... and use whey as the fermentation agent. You will get a great knotweed. Then do a second ferment with your other stuff... and then add sugar or honey when it's ready to go!!