Fiddleheads are the young, green shoots of ferns that are harvested in the early spring and can be found in farmers markets. They have a mild and nutty asparagus-like flavor. In this quick and easy side, fiddleheads are sautéed with sweet brown sugar and umami miso. Pair this with steamed rice and roasted vegetables of your choice for a light spring meal.

Brown Sugar Miso Fiddlehead Ferns [Vegan]




Cooking Time




  • 1/2 pound fiddlehead ferns
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white miso
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds


  1. Wash and pat the fiddleheads dry. Once dried, cut the brown ends off and immediately place in a pot of water to prevent re-browning.
  2. Bring your fiddleheads to a boil and gently boil for 3-4 minutes, then immediately remove them from the hot water, and submerge in cold water to stop further cooking.
  3. Mix together brown sugar, white miso, rice vinegar, ginger, and water until smooth, and set aside.
  4. In a pan, heat the sesame oil over medium heat, then add the fiddleheads. Sauté 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and miso mixture to the pan and cook for another 2 minutes, until the sauce becomes bubbly and thick.
  5. Garnish with black sesame seeds and serve immediately.


It's best to store your fiddleheads in the refrigerator in a bowl of water until you're ready to use them. This will also serve to clean them.