This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy.
Wondering how to cook nettles?
Think of nettles as you would spinach! Try steaming nettles or sauteeing them. Cooking nettles deactivates their sting, which makes them not only edible, but delicious! This recipe for Steamed Nettles with Toasted Sesame Seeds and Chives is easy to make and is such a healthy side dish to what you are already cooking.
It’s earthy and flavorful and very healing. Serve this alongside sweet brown rice and a piece of seared fish or tofu, or toss with soba noodles, or simply eat a bowlful of it, like I do.
Nettles are packed full of calcium, iron and magnesium and are a natural detoxifier.
What are nettles?
Nettles, also known as Urtica dioica, or stinging nettle, are a tall, herbaceous flowering plant, with pointy leaves covered in tiny hairs that grow in the wild. They come into season in the spring through summer. Full of nutrients, they have been used as a healing plant in many cultures throughout the ages.
What do nettles taste like?
Once cooked, the stinging sensation nettles are known for, are deactivated. What you are left with is a flavor very much like wilted spinach, earthy and vibrant, with a fresh grassy note. You could easily substitute wilted nettles in recipes that call for wilted spinach- quiches, pastas, etc.
How to Make Steamed Nettles
Blanch nettles in boiling water for a 1-2 mintues until wilted and their stingers are tamed, then strain and cut, removing the thicker stems.
Save the nettle broth and use in soups or drink it like tea. It basically tastes like spinach water, if you can imagine that flavor. Not bad. I temper it with fresh mint from the garden and drink as a tonic.
Take 5-6 ounces of nettle tips, about a gallon size zip lock bag, and pour into a large pot with about 6 cups of boiling water. Using tongs, push them down into the water. Bring to a simmer and cook 3-4 minutes, gently simmering. Turn the heat off and let seep 5-10 minutes. Drain, reserving the nutrient-rich broth for soups or tea.
Place the drained nettles on a cutting board and remove the thicker, tougher stems – some stems are really ok, don’t feel like you have to remove them all. Chop the remaining nettles and place in one or two bowls. You should have about 1 ½ cups total. I can easily eat all of this in one sitting, so know, 6 ounces of fresh nettles really cooks down a lot.
Place in a bowl.
(Of course, you can bump this up a bit and add sautéed shallot, garlic and/or ginger.)
We hope you enjoy these Steamed Nettles- so healing and delicious! Let us know what you think in the comments below!
More nettle recipes:Print
Steamed Nettles with Toasted Sesame Seeds, Sesame oil and Chives. Easy, delicious and detoxifying, a tasty sidedish full of calcium and iron.
- Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large pot.
- Using tongs, add nettles to the boiling water and simmer until tender about 5 minutes. Turn heat off, let seep 10 minutes.
- Drain, reserving the nutrient-rich nettle broth, saving for soups or tea. If drinking as a tea, add fresh mint to the water to temper the flavor.
- Place wilted nettles on a cutting board and remove any tough stems or thick stems. Tender stems are OK.
- Chop the cooked nettles and place them in a bowl. You should have about 1 ½ cups, after it’s cooked down.
- Season with soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, furikake or toasted sesame seeds, chives and chive blossoms. Enjoy!
- Of course you can always bump this up a notch by adding sautéed shallot, garlic and/or ginger.
- Serving Size: 3/4 cup
- Calories: 127
- Sugar: 0.4 g
- Sodium: 358.1 mg
- Fat: 3.7 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 3.6 g
- Fiber: 2.1 g
- Protein: 2.8 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: steamed nettles, how to cook nettles, nettle recipes